As US tigtens visa rules under Donald Trump, Russia extends invitation to Indian talent

While Russia has been one of India's more faithful allies, it hasn't been a really favoured destination for Indian migrants until now

Russia has expressed interest in taking talented workers from India, in a proposal that if brought to fruition will see increased migration of Indian professionals to the Eurasian country in coming years. English daily Economic Times carried an exclusive interview with Russia’s Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov, wherein the Russian minister said that Moscow would also ensure the well-being of prospective Indian workers.

Manturov said that Moscow would welcome Indian brains to Russia.

“We are open to high-skilled Indian workforce in Russia and help them settle down in our country. Indians and Russians have the best mathematicians in the world – both have high skilled workforce. The government of Russia will work towards this idea of welcoming Indian brains,” Manturov was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

ET reported that the Russian minister was on his second bilateral visit to India in six months. Manturov is part of a delegation sent over from Moscow to commemorate 70 years of bilateral ties between the two allies, who signed a friendship and defense treaty in 1971.

According to news reports, Manaturov and his deputies also worked out the modalities for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in June this year to attend the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg.

According to a report in Russia Today, education, science and technological transfer between the two countries have been identified as some of key areas of bilateral cooperation.

RT quoted Manturov as saying, “We are constantly searching for new ways to strengthen our trade ties to reach the target of $30 billion in annual turnover by 2025, the figure that was agreed on by our leaders earlier.”

Is Russia eyeing an opening in Donald Trump’s pledge to cut down immigration to the US?

Indians have been one of the largest migrant groups to the US in the last few decades, even as the bilateral relationship between two democracies has seen its share of ups and downs. However, the ascendancy of current president Donald Trump to power has been marked by incendiary rhetoric mainly targetting illegal Mexican immigrants and Muslims.

Trump’s rhetoric has also put various immigrant groups in the firing line of White Nationalists, who reportedly feel emboldened by the president’s “America first” policies. There have been several hate crimes carried out against Indian workers in the US since Trump came to power, with the attackers mistaking Indians for Middle-Easterners and Muslims being a common excuse behind the crime in many of these cases.

Russia’s Manturov open invitation to qualified Indian workers to come and work in the northern country could add another dimension to the strong bilateral relationship, even as it provide India’s workers with another migrant destination.