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  Tuesday, February 25, 2020
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Tackling Russia's demographic crisis will become a mega-project that will connect the country's four priority national projects
Tackling Russia's demographic crisis will become a mega-project that will connect the country's four priority national projects, the first deputy prime minister has said. President Vladimir Putin called the decline in Russia's population - which he said was falling by 700,000 people a year - the country's biggest problem in his May 10 state of the nation. And Dmitry Medvedev picked up the critical theme in a television interview. "[The demographic crisis] is obviously a very serious domestic problem as an absolute decline in the Russian population is happening," he said. The United Nations has warned that Russia's population - which stood at roughly 145 million in a 2002 census - could fall by as much as a third by 2050. Putin set out in his speech increased child benefits as one way to ameliorate the situation, which is also affected by unhealthy lifestyles and poor living conditions. Medvedev said the problem could be solved in three ways: to cut the death rate from unnatural causes, to conduct a clear and effective migration policy and to encourage people to have more children. "We have only managed to start dealing with this problem this year because as the right economic conditions have been created," said the first deputy prime minister, who after being given the reins over multi-billion-dollar national projects in education, health, housing and agriculture, has been tipped as a future president. Medvedev said last Friday that solving the demographic crisis could not be taken as an independent national project but measures implemented within the four plans would help tackle the issue.
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