MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described poverty as a striking problem of the Russian economy and added that it was necessary to take real steps to combat it, he said in his annual live interview with Russian TV channels.
"Poverty is, of course, one of the most striking problems of our modern economy, and it is natural that poverty itself is the reverse side of underdevelopment of the economy, as the situation when the economy is in a weak state and there are no poor people is impossible. Thus, it is important that with our consolidated efforts we take real steps aimed at combating poverty," Medvedev said.
Medvedev added that due to economic problems over the past few years the number of poor people in Russia has risen. However, the figure is still much smaller today than it was 10-15 years ago. "At the time, the number of people with incomes below the appropriate level was 30 mln people," Medvedev said.
He noted that there cannot be abstract appeals to fight poverty. "This is absolutely systematic, specific work, which concerns certain groups of the population, namely those who need help," Medvedev said.