MOSCOW, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The number of Ukrainian citizens who have permanently moved to Russia grew by 20 percent year on year, the Federal Migration Service (FMS) said Monday.
"In Russia currently there are 1.607 million Ukrainian citizens, this is 20-percent growth year-on-year," Konstantin Romodanovsky, head of the FMS, told reporters.
The number of Ukrainians who come to Russia with no apparent economic reasons grew two-fold over the same period, the official said.
He added that significant number of Ukrainians already legally in Russia increasingly apply for extension of their residential permits under various pretexts.
The majority of the applicants physically live in Moscow, St. Petersburg and the regions bordering Ukraine, the official specified.
Meanwhile, Romodanovsky noted that since March 17,the FMS has issued over 5,500 Russian passports for the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, which have become the Russia's regions last week.
The total number of Russian passport applications received by FMS in the former Ukraine's territory amounted to 21,000 as of Monday, he said.
On Friday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law legislation on the accession of Crimea after both legislative chambers unanimously approved it.