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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Visits Kamchatka

On a visit to the Kamchatka Peninsula, President Vladimir Putin presided over a government meeting Monday to discuss the region's economic problems.

Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matviyenko said that 45 percent of Kamchatka's population lives below the poverty level, compared to about 35 percent nationwide.

Unemployment in Kamchatka is also 60 percent higher than the national average and the government owes 13 million rubles ($470,000) in pay to residents, she said, according to Itar-Tass.

Putin, in remarks reported by Interfax, said the region's administration is to blame because the region loses revenues from foreign freight traffic. "Ships go abroad because in Kamchatka's ports it takes three days to reload fish, while in Pusan, the closest foreign port, it takes only three hours," he said.