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Russia's Constitutional Court to Review Foreigner Expulsion Rules

Russia tightened its migration laws in 2013, with foreign citizens living in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Moscow and St. Petersburg regions facing expulsion if they failed to comply with formal entry and exit procedures.

Russia's Constitutional Court is set to review the migration rules which have led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens in the past three years, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the court published an online statement in response to a petition from a Moldovan citizen, Mikhail Tsurkan, who was expelled from Russia's capital in 2014 and denied re-entry into Russia for five years. According to Tsurkan's lawyer Anna Minushkina, her client had belatedly notified the migration services about his continued residence in Moscow's Volokolamsky district.

Tsurkan had spent several years living in the country legally and held residence and work permits, but the offender's identity and circumstances of the case were never taken into account, Vedomosti said.

Russia tightened its migration laws in 2013, with foreign citizens living in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Moscow and St. Petersburg regions facing expulsion if they failed to comply with formal entry and exit procedures.

Since then, Russian courts have ordered the expulsion of over 380,000 people. According to the Civic Assistance Committee, the oldest Russian civil-society organization, nearly 30 percent of those expelled had been living in Moscow, Vedomosti reported.

Decisions were sometimes taken “with astonishing speed,” and Russia's move to cancel visa privileges for Ukrainian citizens could make the situation worse, Committee head Svetlana Gannushkina said, Vedomosti reported.

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