US & World

Putin speech: We must halve poverty in Russia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly at Moscow's Manezh exhibition centre on 1 March 2018Image copyright
AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he intends to halve poverty in the country within the next six years, in his annual state of the nation speech in Moscow.

The speech is the last before an election he is expected to win in 17 days time.

Mr Putin is laying out his key policies for his fourth presidential term.

“Every person matters to us,” he said, adding that he wants to increase employment and longevity.

He said in 2000 there were 42 million people living below the poverty line; today there are 20 million, but this still needs to come down.

A Russian news agency reports that the Kremlin is considering withdrawing from the European Court of Human Rights, in view of the number of verdicts that go against it.

Russia passed a law in December 2015 allowing the country’s constitutional court to overrule the European court in Strasbourg.

The election will take place on 18 March.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is barred from running.

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