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Putin calls for action to avert population crisis

01.01.70

TOMSK, West Siberia, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia faces serious demographic problems, and that action is needed to avert an all-out disaster.

Speaking at a meeting of regional leaders in the West Siberian oil city of Tomsk, Putin said the country's economic productivity and even state sovereignty could be threatened if the situation does not improve.

"This demographic problem ... is one of the most serious problems Russia has faced in the last 15 years," Putin said, adding that it was an "awful problem."

Siberia is currently seeing a population drain due to low standards of living in the region, Putin said, despite the region's "huge potential."

"The apocalyptic scenario does not have to come true," he said.

Putin also praised the contributions made by several regional leaders to deal with current problems.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group