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Medvedev criticizes Russian migration rules

Dmitri MedvedevGORKI (Moscow region), November 29 (RIA Novosti)-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday he was stunned by a migration rule that limits foreigners' business travel around the country to 10 days per year.

According to a directive issued by the Russian government in 2008, a foreigner with a short-term working permit in Russia may spend only 10 days on business trips around the country, while a foreigner with a temporary residence in Russia may spend up to 40 days on business trips annually.

"Frankly, I did not know about this rule," Medvedev said at a meeting with businessmen on the new innovation climate in Russia. "This is something from the Soviet-era legislation."

"In every foreigner coming to Russia, they [national security officials] see a person whose only purpose is to gather information...Therefore, [they think] the less he [a foreigner] travels around the country, the better," the president said.

"This [norm] should be changed," he added.

Medvedev, who seeks to diversify the Russian economy by reducing its dependence on oil and gas exports, has made developing hi-tech sectors, improving foreign investment and business climate in the country, and encouraging research the focal point of his economic agenda.

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