Russian authorities have quietly created new bureaucratic headaches for remaining qualified expatriates in the country who are employed by oil and gas operators with foreign partners, such as Exxon Neftegaz and Sakhalin Energy.
From 1 March 2022, the expats will be required to undergo a medical examination, including X-Ray, blood, urine and other tests or risk having their work permits and their stay in Russia revoked.
According to the country’s Health Ministry, the tests are used to establish any presence of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, tuberculosis and drug addiction.
Foregners were previously only required to pass the tests before being issued with work and residence permits.
However, a recent order by the Health Ministry, a copy of which was shared by the Russian-German Foreign Trade Chamber, introduced a 90-day limit for the validity the test results.
Order #1079N states that residing expatriates and members of their families have to take the tests again as soon as the validity of the previous tests expires.
The new regulations have already provoked protests from several foreign trade associations in the country, according to Bloomberg.
However, the ministry said in its order that it is simply reacting to amendments to the law on foreign nationals in Russia that were approved by parliament earlier this year.
The amendments follow efforts by the Russian government to respond to US and European sanctions following Russia's annexation of the Crimea Peninsula.
The new regulations for the tests may be among the more unpredictable results of the response to the sanctions.