Russia launches compulsory medical examinations for foreigners

A controversial new law requiring foreigners in Russia to undergo three-month health checks, including for sexually transmitted diseases, has come into force.

As of December 29, almost all foreigners in the country have to pass medical exams for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis and COVID-19, among other illnesses.

Their blood will also be tested for the presence of illegal drugs, and they must submit their fingerprints and other biometric data. Some will have x-rays and CT scans.

Those who refuse to comply could have their work permits revoked, while Belarusian citizens, children under 6 and diplomats are among those exempt from the new requirements.

Foreign business circles have warned that the new measures could lead to an exodus of executives and other business representatives.

In mid-December, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov played down these concerns and assured President Vladimir Putin “is in favor of creating the most comfortable conditions for foreign companies here – for investors and investors alike. foreign specialists ”.

The Department of Health has also suggested that health checks should not be performed every three months, despite wording indicating otherwise.

Critics also warn that the new measures will allow the Russian government to expand its data collection on foreigners and could negatively affect the country’s hundreds of thousands of migrant workers.

Based on information from dpa, the Moscow Times and AFP

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