Gref also said poverty figures varied greatly in different regions. For example, the figure in the Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous regions (Western Siberia) is no more than 7%. On the other hand, poor people in Kalmykia (a republic in southwestern Russia) and Evenkia (an autonomous district in Siberia) account for 55%-56%, the minister said.
"The Chechen republic has 91% of poor people," Gref said before adding that he had given instructions to verify the statistics.
Gref said constituent federation members and municipal authorities had to focus on solving the [poverty] problem.
The Economic Development and Trade Ministry forecasted that poverty levels in Russia would fall from 17.8% in 2004 to 10% in 2008.