MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. A population of 146 million for Russia’s vast territory is certainly insufficient, President Vladimir Putin told the annual news conference on Thursday.
"I’ve just mentioned the decline in life expectancy and growing death rates. In this connection one of the most important problems and one of the main tasks facing us in the field of democracy are getting more acute. From the humanitarian standpoint and geopolitical standpoint. I’m referring to the country’s population: 146 million for such a vast territory is utterly insufficient," Putin said.
He pointed out that from the economic standpoint this was a major setback, because the country lacked economically active citizens.
"We have a little more than 81 million people of able-bodied age. We are obliged to increase the number by 2024 and 2030. This is one of the factors for economic growth. Not to mention the geopolitical component of this major issue," he said.
"Preservation of the people, which Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke about at length, is one of the main tasks and main growth drivers," Putin concluded.