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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Improved Roads Called For

President Vladimir Putin said Friday that poor roads shave as much as six percentage points off economic growth each year.

"We need to significantly increase the volume of building and reconstruction of roads," Putin told members of a state commission on road-building in Yaroslavl, RIA-Novosti reported.

Roads littered with giant potholes have been the bane of Russians for centuries. One of the country's most famous sayings is that Russia suffers from two misfortunes: fools and bad roads.

The road network, starved of funds since the fall of the Soviet Union, is coming under further pressure as car sales soar and an expanding economy drives freight travel.

The economy will grow by 6.6 percent to nearly $1 trillion this year, according to government forecasts. But some investors have raised concerns that the eight-year economic boom could begin to falter in the face of limitations such as overloaded roads and soaring electricity consumption.

Putin said nearly one-third of major roads were overloaded and just one in five local roads was of an adequate standard. Putin also said road safety should be improved. Nearly 34,000 people died on the country's roads in 2005.