Russia Rounds Up Sochi Games Migrant Workers, Rights Group Says

Russia and the Caribbean

Since early last month, Russian officials have rounded up the workers for alleged violations of migration or employment rules, the New York-based human rights group said today in an e-mailed statement. Many have been kept in arbitrary and inhuman conditions and some expelled from Russia, it said. Its outrageous for the migrant workers who helped to build Sochis shiny new Olympic venues to be herded into detention and deported, said Jane Buchanan, associate director for Europe and Central Asia. Ilya Djous, a spokesman for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, whos in charge of Olympic preparations, said by phone that there havent been any mass violations of labor or migration rules. Russia stages the competition in February and has spent about $50 billion, making these the most expensive Winter Games . The project has included road building and a train service to connect the coastal hub to be used for the opening ceremony and ice skating events and the mountains that will host the skiing and downhill competitions. Construction workers are being exploited and cheated out of their wages, Human Rights Watch said in February. Some employers demanded 12-hour shifts with few days off, withheld passports and work permits and refused to pay promised salaries, the group said. President Vladimir Putin has sought to attract large international events, including the 2018 soccer World Cup and last years Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net ; Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net More News:

But more significantly it speaks to the Dominican Republics ability to incentivise and grow airlift, so that there are now twelve scheduled flights a week from Moscow and St Petersburg, with charters additionally coming from both cities and Ekaterinburg. Moreover, Russian visitors fit the profile most sought after by tourism sector in the Caribbean. Most are aged between 25 and 45, come from an educated, upper upper-middle class demographic, have high purchasing power and increasingly want sun, sea and to shop ideally where some Russian is spoken; a challenge the Dominican Republic is rising to. What this suggests is that most of the Anglophone Caribbean has some catching up to do. So far, Jamaica is the only Caricom nation actively courting Russian tourists, receiving a twice weekly service from Moscow into Montego Bay. However, Barbados, the Bahamas and some Eastern Caribbean nations have also begun to consider the possibilities, although in some cases runway extensions may be required to facilitate the high take-off weight of long east bound flights. The second significant change in the Russian presence in the region has been the dramatic improvement is Russias relationship with Cuba. Earlier this year the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, signed ten wide ranging agreements significantly strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, effectively reversing its withdrawal following the fall of the Soviet Union. The agreements include a formula to resolve finally in 2014 the US$25 billion of Soviet-era Cuban debt that Russia holds; a preferential tariff arrangement on trade with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan; and collaboration in a wide range of other areas of joint scientific, environmental, aviation and informatics interest. Re-engagement has also resulted in a rapid increase in trade, discussions on joint ventures in industry, technology and tourism, and in military co-operation, publicly demonstrated by the recent call in Havana by a naval task force led by the cruiser Moskva. At the same time there has been a growth in interest in improved relations with the Anglophone Caribbean. Russia has cancelled the remaining debt owed by Guyana, is offering police training and scholarships and through RUSALs majority shareholding in the Bauxite Company of Guyana (BCGI) is looking to increase its local involvement. Russian companies are also increasing their bauxite related investment in Jamaica with Rusal, which controls 65 per cent of Jamaica’s alumina capacity and operates three of the island’s four refineries, investing US$100m in a coal-fired electricity generating plant, with the objective of reducing its energy costs and reopening idle plants in 2016. There is also interest in investing in the tourism sector In the Eastern Caribbean there has been a rapid growth in interest in investment in tourism to take advantage of citizenship schemes being introduced there.