UKRAINE, CHINA SEEK TO BOOST TRADE. Ukrainian Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko and Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng on 22 December signed a series of agreements and declarations anticipating the expansion of trade between the two countries, Interfax-Ukraine reported. The Ukrainian leader stressed that he wanted to diversify his country's trading partners, while the Chinese leader for his part praised Kyiv for not establishing ties with Taiwan, Xinhua reported. The two sides agreed among other things to establish joint enterprises in the machine building and fertilizer sectors. PG

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MOVES ON MANY FRONTS. The Verkhovna Rada announced 22 December that later this week it would discuss how to respond to the Council of Europe's insistence on prohibiting the death penalty, ITARTASS reported. It said, too, that it would consider ratifying the Russian-Ukrainian treaty. The parliament is also considering a possible no confidence vote on the current government, parliament Chairman Aleksandr Moroz said. He indicated that the Verkhovna Rada will not reconsider a 1989 law defining Ukrainian as the country's state language. PG

The turmoil that accompanied the break-up of the Soviet Union has set large numbers of people in motion.. CIS Migration Report 1996, published recently by the Genevabased International Organization for Migration (IOM), contains detailed information on these flows from 1989 to 1996.

The biggest flows have involved Russians returning to Russia from other republics, with similar movements among the other 14 ethnic groups also reaching significant levels. Another important motivation for migrants has been a desire to leave republics troubled by civil strife (especially Armenia, Georgia, and Tajikistan) to find work, generally in Russia. Peoples deported by Stalin have migrated, returning to their original homelands (e.g., Crimean Tatars), moving somewhere else in the CIS (e.g.,
Meskhetians deported to Central Asia settling in Azerbaijan), or outside the CIS altogether (e.g., Volga Germans leaving Kazakhstan for Germany).

Ecological and other disasters -have also produced large migratory flows. The most important of these are the 1986 accident at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (affecting Ukraine, Belarus, and parts of Russia), the shrinkage of the Aral Sea (in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan), the problems around the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site area (in Kazakhstan), and earthquakes in northern Armenia in 1988. The IOM study estimates that there have been 739,000 ecological migrants since the mid-1980s.

In Armenia and Azerbaijan, large fractions of the population have become refugees or internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and related events. The Abkhaz conflict has created similar problems within Georgia. Finally, recent years have seen a flood of illegal migrants -- and smaller numbers of refugees and asylum seekers -- from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, usually with hopes of finding their way legally or otherwise into Western Europe. The IOM reports that there are between 500,000 and a million illegal migrants in Russia alone.

The figures on migratory trends in Russia mirror major socioeconomic developments there. The net balance of immigrants and emigrants rose steadily from 104,906 in 1991 to 914,597 in 1994, before subsiding again to 355,384 in 1996. During the 1980s, immigration to Russia consisted of both repatriation of Russians and inflows of other titular nationalities. Over the period 1990-96, some 2.4 million ethnic Russians were repatriated from other republics. However, the break-up of the Soviet Union -- and especially the partitioning of the Soviet Army -- abruptly reversed the latter flow for all nationalities except Armenians.

During 1993-94, the fact that economic reform was proceeding faster in Russia than in most other CIS lands spurred an economically-motivated inflow from all such lands. The war in Chechnya and better economic performance in much of the CIS played a role in reducing this net inflow in 1995 and 1996. Over 1992-96, the Central Asian countries produced the greatest inflows to Russia. A surge in migration to Russia in 1994 came principally from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

The average age of migrants into and out of Russia is similar to that of the general population, unlike world experience -- and that of the Soviet Union from the 1960s through the 1980s -- where migrants are younger than average. However, as elsewhere, Russia's immigrants and emigrants are more educated than average.

After Russians, the largest numbers of migrants to Russia in 1996 were Ukrainians, other groups within Russia (i.e., ethnic groups with their own autonomous republics or administrative units), Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Belarusians, Georgians, Kazaks, and Tajiks. The numerical ranking of those leaving Russia is similar, except that Tajiks figure higher and Belarusians lower.

Repatriation of Russians from other republics began in the mid-1970s, at which time repatriation had an economic motivation. Subsequently, outflows large relative to the size of the sending populations were generated by armed conflicts; in Tajikistan and Transcaucasia, all four countries lost about half of their Russians. Russian outmigration from the latter peaked in 1992 at 70,300 and then declined to 23,000 last year. In 1996, the outflows were dominated by republics with large Russian populations, such as Kazakstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, rather than trouble spots.

As regards migration from Russia beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union, the principal flows in the postSoviet period have been of Germans returning to Germany and Jews moving to Israel or the United States. The outflow of Jews declined from 61,000 in 1990 to 14,300 in 1996, while that of Germans rose from 33,800 to 64,400 over that period. Russians account for an increasingly large share of such emigration.

Research conducted at the Institute for Economic Forecasting in Moscow suggests that there is no relationship between where in Russia immigrants
chose to settle and local unemployment or production statistics. There is, however, is a correlation between such migration and the extent of the local private sector.