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Putin Calls For Overhaul Of Migration Law

Police on the streets of Kondopoga in early September (ITAR-TASS) PRAGUE, October 25, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin today called on ministers to "bring order" to the country's immigration and employment legislation to prevent outbreaks of ethnic violence.

"We need neither provocateurs, on the one hand, nor corrupt [government officials], on the other hand," Putin said in a live session broadcast on national television networks and radio stations.

MORE: Coverage of President Putin's speech in Russian from RFE/RL's Russian Service.

"We should bring order to the [retail and wholesale] trade system, to food markets, we should bring order on issues of migration and labor."

Putin was responding to a question posed by a listener in northwestern city of Kondopoga, scene of a recent spate of ethnic violence during which local residents accused immigrants of monopolizing the city's markets.

Two Russians died in a wave of violence following a brawl in a restaurant between a group of ethnic Russians and Chechens on August 30.