The number of Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Russia is on the rise, head of the Federal Migration Service Moscow department Olga Kirillova said.

"Due to the exacerbation of the sociopolitical situation in Syria, the number of citizens seeking asylum on the territory of Russia has grown significantly," she said.

More than 1,000 Syrian citizens filed refuge requests with the Federal Migration Service Moscow department in 2013 and 478 were granted temporary asylum, she added.

The Federal Migration Service administration refuted the allegations made by human rights defenders about the large-scale expulsion of Syrian citizens seeking refuge in Russia on December 9, 2013.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on October 16, 2013, some 50,000 Syrian Christians residing in the Damascus province had asked for naturalization in Russia.

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