Russia must take action to improve the environment in polluted areas, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday.
"Experts believe around 15 percent of Russia's territory to be in an ecologically-critical condition," he said. "Air pollution levels in 135 cities are characterized as high or very high."
He highlighted soil pollution and the continuing reliance on landfill over recycling in garbage disposal, and poor management of landfill sites, as particular issues.
He said the government is developing an action plan that aims to reduce the environmental impact of pollution, to restore and preserve ecosystems, and also to introduce more stringent environmental monitoring processes.