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Research on European Union (EU)–Russia cooperation in migration issues often neglects important actors involved in these seemingly bilateral arrangements. This paper questions the role that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has been playing in the EU–Russia cooperation in migration management. The analysis is situated in the theoretical framework describing international organisations (IOs) as bureaucracies and within the discussions about international migration governance and migration management. The paper describes the context of the EU–Russia migration management cooperation and identifies the major activities of IOM in Russia. Treating IOs as bureaucracies that pursue their own interests, the paper argues that, far from being a mere implementing body, IOM is an actor that, to a significant extent, has shaped the outcome of EU–Russia migration dialogue. At the same time, it is the context of this bilateral cooperation that has allowed IOM to strengthen its position vis-à-vis both Russia and the EU and to be successful in the competition with other IOs.
 
 
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