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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tajiks Request New Migration Quota

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Tajikistan has asked Russia to increase a yearly quota of labor migrants from this impoverished ex-Soviet republic from 600,000 to 800,000, officials said Tuesday.

A quota of 600,000 Tajik labor migrants was set by the Russian government under tough new migration rules that came into effect last week, Tajik officials said.

The Tajik Ministry of Labor and Social Protection said an increase was requested in order to allow all of the estimated 800,000 Tajiks currently working in Russia to be there legally.

Russia has accompanied the tightening of migration rules with a crackdown on millions of illegal workers amid growing popular resentment of migrants -- in particular, darker-skinned workers from former Soviet republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Russian officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the Tajik request.

Tajikistan, which suffered a devastating five-year civil war in the 1990s, is the poorest of the ex-Soviet republics. Much of its territory is covered with mountains and it has limited resources.

Earnings sent home by Tajiks working in Russia make up an estimated 10 percent of the gross domestic product of the nation of 6 million, according to the government, but the World Bank says the real figure is much higher.