In 2005 there were 10.2 million immigrants working illegally in Russia, Konstantin Romodanovsky, immigration minister told the radio station.

He said around $10 billion is sent out of the country every year by the migrants.


"This money has been earned, but Russia has the right to receive a percentage of the sums leaving the country, like any civilised country," he said.


"Ideally, Russia would not need any immigrant workers at all if labor productivity increased by 40 per cent," he said.


"This is the optimal, ideal scenario," he said.