MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin said Monday that part of the Group of Eight industrialized nations' assistance to the poorest countries should be given to members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
"We should from the start agree with our partners that a significant part of these resources should be given to our neighbors in the former Soviet Union," Putin told a Cabinet meeting.
Putin also said negative events in Africa influenced many countries, including Russia.
"But we agreed that we have very urgent problems of a similar nature, connected with the fight against infectious diseases, and poverty both in our country and the closest neighboring states. These are CIS states," the Russian leader said. "Even in objective terms, some of these countries can be ranked among the world's poorest."