14:04 GMT +324 September 2018
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    Economics minister: 90% of Chechens in poverty

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    MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - Official statistics put the number of the poor in Chechnya at just over 90%, Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref told the government Thursday.

    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.

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