06MOSCOW11778, MIGRATION SERVICE DIRECTOR ROMODANOVSKIY ON NORTH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW11778 2006-10-20 06:44 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5252
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1778/01 2930644
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 200644Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4246
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0700
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4113
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2624
RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 0226
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 0032

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 011778 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2016 
TAGS: PREF PREL RS
SUBJECT: MIGRATION SERVICE DIRECTOR ROMODANOVSKIY ON NORTH 
KOREANS, STATELESSNESS IN RUSSIA 


Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns. Reasons 1.4. (b and d). 

1. (C) SUMMARY: Federal Migration Service Director 
Konstantin Romodanovskiy told PRM/Admissions Director Terry 
Rusch October 6 that Russia would consider resettlement of 
North Koreans to the U.S. on a case-by-case basis, repeating 
what other GOR interlocutors have told us previously. 
Separately, Romodanovskiy said that the GOR had enacted 
legislation offering further opportunities for former Soviet 
citizens who were living in Russia and now stateless to 
obtain Russian citizenship. Romodanovskiy expressed an 
interest in further cooperation with the U.S. and other 
countries experienced in migration and is seen by our 
contacts as someone trying to reform the migration service. 
END SUMMARY. 

2. (C) Federal Migration Service Director Konstantin 
Romodanovskiy and members of his staff met with 
PRM/Admissions Director Terry Rusch, DHS Chief of Refugee 
Affairs Barbara Strack, Deputy Chief of Refugee Affairs June 
Tancredi and refcoord October 6 to discuss the possible 
resettlement of North Koreans to the U.S. and other potential 
cooperation between the FMS and its U.S. counterparts. 

North Koreans 
------------- 

3. (C) Rusch began the meeting by thanking Romodanovskiy for 
FMS' assistance with the resettlement of Meskhetian Turks to 
the U.S. and noted that the GOR,s experience with the 
statelessness issue positioned it well to play an active role 
within the international community in addressing it. She 
noted that the purpose of her visit to Russia was to 
participate in a workshop sponsored by the USG and the 
International Organization for Migration to train NGOs in how 
to refer cases to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Rusch 
noted that the GOR was revising its laws on refugees and 
expressed U.S. hopes that it would enhance protection for 
asylum seekers. 

4. (C) Turning to North Koreans, Rusch explained the passage 
of the North Korean Human Rights Act and U.S. interest in 
resettling North Korean asylum seekers to the U.S. if they so 
desired. The U.S. understood the sensitivities of this issue 
for the GOR given its relationship with North Korea, and it 
appreciated the GOR's willingness to work with UNHCR and the 
ROK in resettling North Koreans in South Korea. There had 
been instances, including when a North Korean had approached 
the U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok, expressing interest in 
third country resettlement The U.S. Government hoped that if 
an asylum seeker desired to go to the U.S. rather than South 
Korea, the GOR would allow the United States to process the 
case. 

5. (C) Romodanovskiy said that there were North Koreans in 
Russia and that their status varied. Each year, about 20-30 
of them were resettled to South Korea through UNHCR and the 
ROK. Romodanovskiy stressed that the FMS did not have sole 
responsibility for these issues, and it worked in conjunction 
with other GOR agencies, the MFA and others, that also have 
to be involved. 

Statelessness 
------------- 

6. (C) Rusch raised the issue of statelessness in Russia. 
Romodanovskiy said that the collapse of the Soviet Union had 
created a burden for Russia, which had to absorb forced 
migrants from within the former Soviet space, care for 
internally displaced persons from Chechnya, and deal with 
refugees from third countries such as Afghanistan. Among 
them were Soviet citizens who were now stateless and needed 
to be integrated into Russia. Romodanovskiy said that, 
during the last year, it had granted citizenship to 508,000 
people, of whom 210,000 were former Soviet citizens who had 
delayed seeking Russian citizenship. The GOR realized that 
there were several thousand more, and early this year, 
President Putin signed a law extending the deadline for 
Soviet citizens in Russia to claim Russian citizenship until 
2008. 

7. (C) Romodanovskiy said the FMS continued to implement 
reforms and wanted to cooperate with the U.S. and other 
Western countries and that the GOR had initiated the G-8 
experts meeting on migration that had just concluded in 
Lisbon. One of the key issues for the FMS was further 

MOSCOW 00011778 002 OF 002 


development of its visa regime, but is was also interested in 
broader issues of migration and the processing of refugees 
and asylum seekers. Strack noted that USCIS would be pleased 
to organize briefings for Romodanovskiy or his staff in the 
event of a visit to the United States. 

COMMENT 
------- 

8. (C) The FMS has had difficulties defining its missions 
and its goals as a result of constant GOR reorganizations and 
a lack of leadership. Our contacts at UNHCR and elsewhere 
have welcomed Romodanovskiy's leadership in taking charge of 
the organization and his interest in cooperation. They note, 
however, th
at as a result of the reorganizations and merger 
with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the FMS has developed 
a law-enforcement mentality. 

BURNS

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