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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Medvedev Chides Business Elite

First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev summoned Russia's business elite Wednesday and criticized them for not doing enough to improve workers' lives.

Medvedev, who threatened to prosecute anyone breaking labor laws, said workers needed higher wages, proper safety equipment and better medical facilities at their factories.

"In Russia, 190,000 people die annually from harmful industrial causes. About 200,000 people suffer industrial injuries every year," Medvedev told the businessmen in remarks shown on state television.

"These numbers have a direct impact on labor potential at your plants. You should think about it," said Medvedev, who oversee social issues.

Mining billionaire Vladimir Potanin, steel magnate Alexei Mordashov and others at the meeting listened, some taking notes.

Medvedev is a likely contender to take the presidency after March 2008, when Putin is due to step down.