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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk Asks for Travel Restrictions

Norilsk Nickel and the mayor of the northern Siberian city where the metals giant is based have written to Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu asking for the restoration of Soviet-era restrictions in order to keep out criminals and terrorists, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Norilsk Nickel general director Dzhonson Khagazheyev and Norilsk Mayor Oleg Budargin asked Shoigu to make the Norilsk industrial zone and Taimyr autonomous district that surrounds it a restricted zone as it was until 1990, the news agency reported.

Unauthorized migration leads to a "deterioration of the criminal situation in the cities and a loss in the effectiveness of state and local social programs and enterprises," the authors said. Wages and social benefits in the region are relatively high.

There have been no serious incidents in the region so far, but gas pipelines running above ground, several thousand tons of explosives intended for ore extraction, dangerous industrial chemicals and a nuclear reactor were possible targets for criminals or terrorists, he said.

Both the Emergency Situations Ministry and the Federal Border Service said the request was not within their jurisdiction.

Irina Starodubrovskaya, who is working on a World Bank-funded project to resettle people from Arctic regions, said she doubted the restrictions will be restored because the Constitution guarantees freedom of movement.