4 Oct 2017 16:49

Russian authorities know how to address gap between rich, poor - Putin

MOSCOW. Oct 4 (Interfax) - The widening gap between the rich and the poor is "a real problem" for Russia, but there is an understanding how to address it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"With regard to the 'scissors' between rich and low-income people. This is a real problem on which we definitely should be working," Putin said at the international forum on energy efficiency in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Since the 2000s the proportion of people in Russia living below the poverty line has changed: in 2000 it was almost 40% of the population, now this has radically changed," he said.

"Over the previous two years the ratio has slightly changed for the worse, but now it is again beginning to rectify itself. We need big change in social policy, we need to create a system whereby state aid would be targeted at those groups that need it, and not at everyone equally, which is what we see today both in healthcare and in the sphere of social support," Putin said.

"We are aware of these problems and understand what needs to be done to rectify this situation," he said.