Russian state study finds 80% of households struggle to make ends meet
A third of Russian households can’t afford to buy more than two pairs of shoes per person per year, while as many as 53 per cent can’t afford sudden expenses like house repairs or illness, a study by the country’s state statistics department, Rosstat, has found.
According to a BBC report on the survey, 80 per cent of Russian households struggle to make ends meet every year.
For a country pitched as a middle-income economy and a strong global power (of sorts), some of the study’s findings were startling: 11 per cent of Russians cannot afford vital medicines, and just about as many, 11.2 per cent, can’t replace worn-out clothes.
The results of this state-sponsored study have not gone down well with the Kremlin.
Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying, “Why shoes? Why one third? Where are these figures from?”
The findings come as a signal of worry for the Kremlin as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings have taken a hit over the past couple of years.
US President meets China vice-premier as trade deal talks ‘near conclusion’
United States President Donald Trump is set to meet China’s Vice-Premier Liu He at the White House Thursday as trade negotiations between the two countries reportedly enter the final stages.
Liu met US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the US Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin Wednesday.
According to sources quoted in a Bloomberg report, drafts of a trade deal between the two nations would have two core aspects: China will get until 2025 to meet its commitments on commodity purchases, and facilitate arrangements allowing US companies to wholly own companies in the country.
The negotiators are striving hard to reach a consensus, so Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping can sign the trade deal at their upcoming summit at Mar-a-Lago.
China to draft first list of Belt & Road Initiative projects
The Chinese government is in the process of drafting a list of bona fide Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, according to a report in Bloomberg, to restrict Chinese companies from misusing the BRI.
This comes as a host of countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Pakistan are “reassessing Chinese investments”. Chinese policymakers would aim to draft the list before the second Belt and Road Initiative Summit, which will be held this month.