YEREVAN (Tert.am) — The head of the State Migration Service rules out the possibility of a migrant influx to Armenia, considering the country’s advantages less attractive compared to the developed European states.
Citing the available statistics, Gagik Yeganyan says that an estimated 40 migrants arrive in the country each week, with the annual records revealing 400-500 people, most of whom are ethnic Armenians.
“When the developments in Syria had just got under way, we had more than 1,000 asylum seekers the first year. And their ethnic background didn’t matter to us, though the nationality is always mentioned in personal records, allowing us to have a statistics,” he told our correspondent.
Asked whether the past weeks’ migrant crisis in Europe has in any way affected the dynamics in Armenia, Yeganyan said he thinks that migrants normally prefer countries more attractive than Armenia notwithstanding the difficulties.
“Armenia is not on an equal footing with Europe in terms of its attractiveness, as the difference is vast even among the European states. If you have closely followed the developments, migrants predominantly prefer the more developed European countries – Germany, Sweden and Norway. They do not even wish to stay in the countries in Eastern Europe; they just cross them as transit states,” he added.
Asked what obstacles immigrants may encounter in Armenia should they nonetheless choose the country, Yeganyan said he isn’t aware of any legislative barrier that could hamper their residency procedures.
“We have officially stated that Armenia is ready to take under protection those people whose life is under threat, also in times of military operations. This is the policy pursued in the past 10-12 years, the developments in Iraq and Syria, and the Georgian-Ossetian conflict being an example of that,” he added.
“Problems will arise of course if too many people come. The international community, for instance, does not allow a country to stay alone after shouldering a heavy burden. So they have developed distribution schemes among different countries.”