DUSHANBE, March 5, Asia-Plus  -- Only 18 families (totaling 58 persons) have to date moved to the Russian Federation under Russia’s national program for voluntary resettlement of fellow-countrymen living abroad.  

According to Viktor Sebelev, a chief specialist with office of Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS), most of them have left for Russia over the first two months of this year; the majority of them have moved to Russia’s Kaliningrad region.  “In December 2007, only two or tree families moved to Russia,” Sebelev said.  

In all, 338 families (totaling 1049 people) have to date been registered with the FMS office for resettlement to Russia; 32 families have already been granted certificates of participants of the resettlement program, the chief specialists said.  

He added that some 50 percent of those registered want to move to the Kaliningrad region, 20 percent to Lipetzk, 20 percent to Kaluga and the remaining 10 percent to other regions, including Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions.  

Sebelev noted that migrant are provided with temporary but not permanent dwelling.  “Migrants purchase dwelling houses on their own; they are just provided with traveling allowances and mortgage loans,” he said, adding that mortgage loan is provided only after migrant lives in the chosen region for certain period.