Foreigners living in Russia are leaving the country in droves, the FT reports:
The numbers from several western countries have plummeted by as much as a third, reflecting Moscow’s estrangement from Europe and the US as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.The most significant departures are from countries that have long been among the largest foreign investors in Russia. As of January 20, the number of Germans in Russia had fallen to 240,113, the Federal Migration Service said. That represented a 31 per cent drop since January 2014, according to additional FMS figures provided to the Russian news website RosBusinessConsulting.The number from the US was down by 36 per cent, from the UK 38 per cent and Spain 41 per cent over the period.
And it isn’t just Western expats who are staying away:
Russia is also rapidly losing its appeal among people from countries of the former Soviet Union. According to the FMS data, the number from Uzbekistan, long the biggest source of migrant labour to Russia, fell by more than 100,000 during the past year. According to the Federal Statistics Service, arrivals from countries such as Tajikistan also slowed dramatically in the course of 2014.
Taken together, the expat exodus and the flagging immigration rates from the south suggest that Russia’s economic troubles are even deeper than reported, and that the collapsing Western interest in doing business there is taking a heavy toll.