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    MOSCOW, January 15, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/ - The Russian Interior Ministry proposes to create a migration code, Deputy Minister, Police Colonel General Alexander Chekalin said at a briefing on Thursday.

    "Russia has 12 complicated laws that regulate migration processes. These laws have numerous subordinate acts. There is an acute need to create a migration code like the family and labor code in order to streamline legislation in the sphere," he announced.

    This code is very important both for Russians and for foreign citizens, Chekalin emphasized.

    The Interior Ministry also proposes to introduce criminal liability for organization of illegal migration, the deputy minister said.

    He, however, did not mean imprisonment. "Representatives of shadow economy are better punished by money, so we intend to offer sanctions not in form of imprisonment, but in form of significant fines," he explained.

    The ministry has started forming a single database of foreign citizens that is to be completed by the end of 2005, Chekalin added.

    The database will contain information on immigrants, their employers, as well as on non grata persons, refugees and lists of citizens applying for the status of refugees, he said.

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