The population of the Far East has dropped over the last decade from 8 million to just 6.7 million. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Deputy Russian Presidential Plenipotentiary for the Far East Federal District Yuri Obriadin, who spoke at a State Duma assembly today.
He said the district is the largest region in Russia, accounting for 36.4% of the country's territory, but it has a very sparse population - just one person for every square kilometer whereas the average is 8.5 in the rest of Russia. The population in this region dropped four times faster than in other regions during the nineties due to a rising mortality rate and emigration, he said.
Mr Obriadin believes socio-economic reform is necessary in order to provide more stability for the regional population. He also called for the new law on the 'stable development of the Far East' to be passed as soon as possible and for changes in the law 'on Russian citizenship' to make it easier for those intending to immigrate to the Far East district to obtain Russian citizenship.
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987