Only 4.0 percent of a total number of crimes officially registered in Russia are committed by foreigners, a candidate to the post of Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev stated on May 14 while delivering a statement at a plenary session of the Federation Council (Russia’s upper chamber of parliament), Russia's state-run news agency TASS reports.

At the same time, the minister noted that “migrants' behavior creates tension in society and we are forced to react to isolated cases.”  

“They behave in such a way that the whole society is agitated,” the minister was quoted as saying.  

Kolokoltsev reportedly announced changes in the regulation of labor migration and tightening control over foreigners arriving in the country.  

According to him, the Interior Ministry is preparing migration reform and already now the ministry’s actions are aimed at strengthening control over the stay of foreign citizens in Russia. 

The reform is designed to streamline and legitimize their stay in Russia, bring as many migrants out of the shadows as possible and exercise tighter control over them, the minister stated.  

“But we don’t have to jump at the other extreme, i.e. to allow the growth of xenophobia and the unjustified application of enforcement measures against these citizens,” the minister emphasized.  

Recall, Russian authorities’ failure to halt a lethal terror attack in Krasnogorsk last month has had some crushing side effects for Russia’s immigrants and ethnic minorities.

Since the Crocus City Hall attack on March 22, which led to the deaths of 144 people and was claimed by a branch of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, Russian police have conducted raids on migrant dormitories in several cities, while Central Asian natives have been searched on the streets.

In late March some 40 migrants were reportedly detained at their place of work 60 kilometers from Moscow.  Law enforcement agencies also conducted a major operation including mass searches and the immediate arraignment of people accused of breaking migration laws.  As a result, 466 individuals were sentenced to expulsion from Russia.

Central Asian authorities from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan — traditional countries of origin for many migrants to Russia — have all issued statements advising their citizens not to participate in mass events in Russia and to stay home.