Russia to encourage return of compatriots amid dropping population

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The Kremlin is seen in downtown Moscow, Russia on March 28, 2018. (Xinhua/Shi Hao)

Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin said during his annual Question and Answer session that the Russian authorities should streamline the procedures of obtaining Russian citizenship as a way to solve the demographic problem.

The government plans to gradually extend the retirement age to 65 from 30 for men and to 63 from 55 for women starting next year.

According to Putin, the number of Russian women of childbearing age will decrease over 25 percent by 2032 due to a decline in births in the 1990s, which is becoming a constraint to economic growth.

MOSCOW, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Russian is working on mechanisms to encourage nationals abroad to move back to the country, said Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov on Tuesday.

Russia welcomes those who consider themselves closely linked to the Russian world, speak Russian, want to work in the country and have the requisite skills regardless of their ethnicity or religious affiliation, Putin said.

He also said that procedures of obtaining Russian citizenship should be streamlined for immigrants from the insurgent region of Donbas in southeast Ukraine.

"We have received such proposals, and we are working on this," he added.

The country also rolled out a set of measures, including financial support, to encourage births.

"As part of the currently drafted migration policy concept, we are dealing with the issue to create conditions to secure the return of compatriots from all countries," TASS news agency quoted Zubov as saying.

Russia aims to boost its economy in the coming years, but faces a decline in native population, which could translate into a labor shortage.