A recent UN report that says 2.5 million people have emigrated from Kazakhstan to Russia in just this year was shocking.
To a 17-million strong nation, an outflow of the seventh part of its population in a very short period of time would be noticeable, like it was in early 1990 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Forbes.kz writes.
No less surprising was the lack of any official statements from the country's government on the point, given Kazakh authorities are very careful when it comes to Kazakhstan's international reputation.
The matter is about a report from International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the ongoing year.
The report indeed tells about the Russia-Kazakhstan route, which is included into the top 20 global migration corridors.
Compilers wrote that 2.6 million people moved from Kazakhstan to Russia, yet failed to specify the number of those traveling in opposite direction. At that, media showed that total migration to Kazakhstan from all over the world makes 2.4 million people.
Seemingly, the IOM report gives figures that cover the whole period of Kazakhstan's independence. In that case, the numbers provided are more realistic.
After many years of migration surplus, Kazakhstan again saw a negative trend last year - a fact that nobody spoke loudly of. The deficit turned out to be not measurable for now - just 1,400 people.
"For now", because forecasts say a larger outflow is expected in the years to come due to well-known reasons, including the rise of anti-Russian moods in the country, influence of Islamists, suspension of the state repatriation program after the 2011 Zhanaozen events and potential instability in the region after the coming NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.