By 2005, the financial position of 10 millions of Russians, or about one-fourth of the country's underprivileged, may improve to the point, where they will be able to step over the poverty line, according to a World Bank expert report posted on the official site run by the Moscow office of the WB.
The report, entitled "Development Policy Review," will be discussed at the Moscow Higher School of Economics.
The WB estimates the number of Russians living below the poverty line amounts at 42 million, or 29% of the overall Russian population, which numbers 145.1 million people, according to the population census conducted in 2002.
In the meantime, official information released by the Russian State Statistics Committee shows that the number of Russians with incomes lower than the subsistence level amounted, in the first quarter of 2003, to 37.2 million, or 26% of the overall population.
WB experts have pointed out that the living standard will rise on condition the country preserves, and improves, the economic expansion rate and effects social and economic reforms to ensure correct distribution of the country's subsidiary earnings between economic sectors.
Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on remarks in the US media about failures in launching nuclear-capable missiles in Russia
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