Argentina: “boom” of Russian babies worries government

Many Russian couples give birth to their child in the South American country, with the aim, thanks to the right of the soil, to obtain the local passport.

by Flora Genne (Buenos Aires, correspondent)

“Dear patients, if you do not speak Spanish, please come with a translator. Thank you.” Printed in Russian, the message is placard on the maternity doors of the Fernandez public hospital, in Buenos Aires. Svetlana (her first name has been changed), 31, applies the instructions. In the maternity corridor, she watched for the arrival of her translator, who will accompany her for a prenatal exam. His first child must be born in less than a week, 12,000 kilometers from Kaliningrad, his city of origin.

“I wanted to be very, very far from Russia”, explains the 30 -year -old, who left her country with her husband in March 2022, in disagreement with the invasion of Ukraine a month earlier and for fear that it will result in generalized military mobilization. “Here, it’s easy for papers and medicine is very good. I’m going to give a gift to the hospital to thank him,” she continues, doing the project for the moment to stay in Argentina.

Its management in the public system is completely free. And, thanks to the right of the soil, his daughter will automatically receive an Argentinian passport. The sesame opens the door of 171 countries, without visa. It will be far from the first Russian baby to see the light of day in Buenos Aires: since the second half of 2022, more and more Russian women have decided to give birth in Argentina. At Fernandez hospital, out of 122 deliveries in December, 37 concerned Russian women. A little further, at the Finochietto clinic (private), out of 170 births in December, 50 babies were Russian.

If Buenos Aires condemned the invasion of Ukraine, it does not apply sanctions against Moscow. The war therefore did not modify the entry methods of Russian citizens: they have the right to go to Argentina as tourists, without visa. Once parents of a small Argentinian, they can immediately submit a request for residence. This then allows them to present a naturalization file, in order to obtain, in turn, an Argentinian passport.

“Mafia organizations”

The phenomenon ended up alerting local authorities. On February 8 and 9, six pregnant Russian women were selected at Buenos Aires airport when they arrived. The migratory services considered that they were “false tourists”, stressing that a delivery in Argentina requires a specific visa. Travelers were finally allowed to enter the territory. According to migratory services, since January 2022, 22,200 Russian citizens have arrived in Argentina and more than 9,000 of them are still there. Just in January 2023, 4,523 arrived in the country, against 1,037 in January 2022, before the war.

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/Media reports cited above.