Arkady Volsky, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, believes low living standards are the main reason behind the dramatic spread of HIV/AIDS in Russia.
Mr Volsky spoke at the first meeting of the Trans-Atlantic Working Group Against HIV/AIDS, which opened on Tuesday. The meeting is involving 150 Russian and foreign company executives, labor union leaders and healthcare officials.
"Low living standards are the main reason behind AIDS spread. Eradicating poverty must, therefore, be a major direction in the effort against AIDS. This was what the president tasked the Russian government with for the short term," said Mr Volsky.
"The business community must play an important role in fighting the virus in Russia and in other countries. Business people must contribute to the development and implementation of prophylactic strategies," emphasized Mr Volsky.
The head of the Russian Finance Ministry, Anton Siluanov, said that the Americans would suffer additional losses if they impose sanctions on Russia's public debt