The flow of labor migrants from Uzbekistan to Russia may continue to decline, shared Alisher Ruziev, head of the department of the Agency for External Labor Migration under the Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction. According to him, as quoted by Kommersant with reference to RIA Novosti, the construction industry in Uzbekistan is now actively developing, with wages at some sites competing with those in Russia.

“Today Uzbekistan is experiencing a construction boom, and, naturally, our wages have equalized with some sites in the Russian Federation… Therefore, in this situation, there may be an outflow tendency of our citizens (leaving — ed. note) to the Russian Federation,” Alisher Ruziyev said.

At some large construction sites in Uzbekistan, workers in construction specialties are now earning about $500−600 per month. “Therefore, it is no longer profitable to go to the Russian Federation for such wages,” he added.

The agency representative also mentioned that over the past two years the agency has significantly expanded the geography of employment of citizens abroad, in particular, due to the demand for labor in Europe.

In early June, spokesperson of Uzbekistan’s president Sherzod Asadov commented in an interview with Sevimli TV channel that there were between 4 and 6 million labor migrants from Uzbekistan in Russia until 2016, but now their number has dropped to 1 million. “This information was also cited by the presidents of Uzbekistan and Russia, but most of our analysts did not pay attention to it,” he said.

During a visit to Tashkent in late May, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that more than 1 million citizens of Uzbekistan live and work in Russia. He assured that Russian authorities will do everything to ensure decent working conditions and social protection for migrant workers from Uzbekistan.

In May, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev stated that about 115,000 labor migrants have returned to Uzbekistan since the beginning of the year, and another 250,000−300,000 citizens are expected to return by the end of the year. He emphasized the importance of employing the returnees and helping them solve social issues.

In April, the head of state signed a decree on supporting migrant workers. According to this decree, workers will be reimbursed for expenses related to obtaining professional and language certificates, work visas, and tickets. Additionally, assistance will be provided to those who encounter difficulties abroad.