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The 2022 Russian aggression against Ukraine has triggered the most substantial migration surge across Europe since World War II. Amid the millions of Ukrainians seeking refuge within the European Union’s borders from the war, Serbia, as an EU candidate country, is grappling with a significant influx of Russian expatriates, who are escaping political oppression and the looming spectre of conscription in their homeland.
Remarkably, as Turkey increasingly began to reject Russian residence permit applications, Serbia rose to prominence among the top three preferences for Russian migrants. Inspired by strong historical ties and memories of a past wave of White emigres seeking refuge after the Russian Empire’s downfall, Serbia has warmly embraced its new Russian emigrants, viewing this influx as an opportunity for a youthful, skilled workforce that can boost the economy and bridge demographic gaps.
Yet, beneath the surface of this generous front lies a compelling question: What rewards will Serbia reap in exchange for its hospitality beyond the prospect of escalated rent prices? In this analysis, the focus shifts to delving into the intricacies of Serbia’s recent arrival of Russian emigrants, scrutinising the potential challenges this dynamic presents for the nation’s future.