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Kremlin says supports entire population, no special plan for saving middle class

Distinguishing the middle class would be a very wrong approach, the Kremlin spokesman said

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. The Kremlin is doing its utmost to support all groups of the country’s population, without distinguishing any privileged class, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Tuesday.

"No, there is no such plan and there should not be any. There are measures to support the entire population. Distinguishing the middle class would be a very wrong approach," Peskov said. He stressed that "the focus is on the need to minimize the effects of the coronavirus crisis, including the economic ones, the economic dimension of this crisis, on all people in the country without distinguishing the middle class."

Peskov urged everyone to study closely the two packages of support measures the government had adopted. He stressed that under the first package certain measures were taken to support those in the low-income brackets and the needy.

About the remark by the rector of the Higher School of Economics, Yaroslav Kuzminov, to the effect the Russian middle class was sliding into poverty Peskov said that the Russian presidential staff observed many attempts to analyze the situation.

"We read very many forecasts and many verdicts regarding different groups of the population and different industries and different economic entities. One thing is obvious: the situation is not simple," Peskov said. "It is beyond doubt that the situation is a complex one and requires fundamental and concerted efforts by the country’s leadership, the government, and the regional officials and the economic entities." He acknowledged that Russia was experiencing problems. "But at the same time it is clear what is to be done to cope with them," Peskov said.

"Who will be hit most strongly and who less? We will see that as the situation develops. There have been too many attempts to analyze the situation and it is obvious that the threat of the coronavirus and the effects this threat has posed to the economy are so unprecedented that most such analysis attempts by and large will hardly hit the nail on the head," Peskov said.

About the president’s opinion voiced earlier that in Russia the term middle class should be applied to people who earn 1.5 minimum wages Peskov said that Vladimir Putin was speaking about different methodologies of international organizations to determine the middle class. "Every country is keen to preserve the middle class. Naturally. Not just the Kremlin, but any state is keen to do that," he concluded.