Kommentar

Putin spiller imperialist, men rikdommen og makten er bygget på sandgrunn. Den demografiske svekkelsen i Russland er katastrofal, og myndighetene ser ikke ut til å bry seg. Den gjennomsnittlige levealderen for menn er nå bare 58 år. Store deler av landsbygda legges øde.

Russia’s population has plummeted by almost 7% to 143 million in the last 15 years, and is predicted to drop by another 20 million by 2025. And as Moscow gears up to take over the presidency of the G8 on January 1, the Kremlin is being urged to meet the crisis head on.

In a report published last week, Delovaya Rossiya, a business lobby group, predicted that the country would lose an astonishing $400bn (£232bn) in the next two decades if it failed to tackle the population dive.

Inadequate government efforts to encourage immigration, support young families and promote healthy eating are having a disastrous effect on President Vladimir Putin’s oft-repeated desire to double GDP, it said.

In another study published earlier this month, the World Bank concluded that Russia would never compete with the other G8 countries if it did not address its health deficit and demographic decline.

The study, titled Dying Too Young, warned that Russia’s demographic «devastation» was unprecedented among industrialised nations and threatened to shave billions off its GDP.

Det er allerede for få hender til å gjøre jobbene. Morten Strand hadde en interessant artikkel i Dagbladet om hvordan 5-7 millioner fra Kaukasus og -stan-landene driver den russiske byggeboomen i byene.

Russland trenger all den hjelp landet kan få. I stedet for å skyve naboland fra seg burde Kreml søke samarbeid. Gass-kravene overfor Ukraina har aktivert fryktgenet, frykten for tsar- og bolsjevik-imperiet.

Population gloom