Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies
under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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On the situation at the border


Kazakhstanis are concerned about the “second wave” of migration of Russian citizens, which is understandable and understandable. In some cases there are even calls to close the border. However, the current situation is not so unambiguous, there are points to which we should pay attention.

First, there are legal norms for the stay of foreign nationals on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Foreigners are registered by the Migration Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the place of their permanent or temporary residence. Control of stay of migrants, personal registration of all foreigners is carried out through a unified information system. This allows real-time tracking of information about their entry, registration, purpose of stay and departure from the country. At the same time, according to the migration laws of Kazakhstan, Russian citizens can stay on the territory of Kazakhstan for 90 days, after which they must leave or obtain a temporary residence permit.  But temporary residence permits can also be obtained on certain grounds (work, medical treatment, family reunification, etc.) in the presence of permits and supporting documents of authorized state agencies, otherwise they are subject to departure or compulsory expulsion by court.

Second, concerns that the “second wave” will cause a sharp rise in prices are partially justified. The rise in prices will occur in any case for objective economic reasons. Yes, prices in some segments may rise more than expected, but this is a temporary phenomenon. However, along with the expected negative moments, there are advantages such as increased consumption in the border areas, increased demand, which stimulates trade and services.

Thirdly, border closure may lead to negative consequences, in particular, it will affect border trade in the first place. Dependence of our territories bordering Russia on Russian supplies varies from 60 to 75% depending on the region.  An ill-considered decision may lead to a deficit and a sharp rise in prices for foodstuffs and consumer goods in the first place, which is extremely undesirable.

In addition, I think that not all Russian citizens crossing the border of Kazakhstan choose the territory of our state as their final destination, some of them go in transit.

Asel Aben, Head of representative office of KazISS under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Almaty

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