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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008, 15:38 GMT
Russia reducing migrant workers
Nationalist protesters in Russia (November 2007)
Nationalists marching in Moscow against the use of migrant workers
The Russian government says it intends to cut the number of foreign migrant workers by two thirds in 2008.

In 2007, six million workers were allowed into Russia from the other former Soviet republics without visas.

The Federal Migration Service has told the news agency, Interfax, that the number will be cut to two million.

Russia's economic growth has prompted a need for foreign labour, but nationalists have protested that native Russians are being outnumbered.

Many of the migrants have come from the Central Asian republics or the Caucasus and have become a regular feature of street markets.

But regulations have been put in place barring foreigners from working in some retail sectors because of ethnic tensions.

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