Russia has dropped its target of becoming one of the world’s five largest economies in a sweeping reset of its ambitious national development goals.
The goal was outlined by President Vladimir Putin following his reelection in 2018, but has been left out of Russia’s new social and economic targets announced on Tuesday.
Putin also delayed a number of other goals to 2030 from the original 2024 deadline, including halving Russia’s poverty rate and boosting life expectancy to 78.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “highly, highly unfavorable” global economic conditions were behind Russia dropping the goal to become one of the world’s top 5 economies.
Measured in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) — an indicator which accounts for differences in living standards — Russia was the sixth largest economy in the world in 2019, the World Bank estimates. In nominal terms, Russia ranks eleventh.
Russia’s economy is expected to recover from the coronavirus pandemic slower than most other countries, a host of economic forecasts predict.
Peskov told journalists that goals on raising life expectancy and cutting poverty had been pushed back due to the “unfavourable world economic conditions that will slow the development of all countries without exception.”
Official statistics for 2019 say that more than 18 million Russians live below the poverty line, or 12.3% of the population. This is defined as having monthly income of less than 10,890 rubles ($154).
Life expectancy has grown in recent years from extremely low levels in the early post-Soviet years, especially among men. In 2019, it was 67 for men and 77 for women.
This year Russia has seen its economy, dependent on exports of hydrocarbons, hit by a collapse in oil prices as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
AFP contributed reporting to this article.