The annual average number of working-age people will be growing in Russiaand will reach 87.3m people in 2002 and 89.1m people in 2005. The workforcewill increase by 2.4% by the end of 2005 compared to the 2001 level and by2.1% compared to the 2002 level, or by 1.8m people. This information isgiven in a report by the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, outliningthe forecast for Russia's social and economic development for 2003 and themain parameters of the respective forecast for the period until 2005. The number of people younger than the working age will decrease from 27.9mto 23.5m in 2005 compared to that of 2001, or by 16%. Their percentage inthe total population will decrease from 19.3% in 2001 and 18.6% in 2002 to16.6% in 2005. The number of people older than the working age will be declining and willfall to 29.3m people in 2005, which is 600,000 people, or 2%, less thanthat of 2001, and 500,000 people, or 1.7%, less than that of 2002. At thesame time, the percentage of people older than the working age will reach20.6% of the total population in 2005 and will not change compared to thatof 2001. .
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia