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Jeffrey Sachs

economist, architect of Russian privatization in 1990s

There is no great crisis here. The unemployment rate, budget deficit and poverty rate Russia has, the U.S. would happily trade for.

Russia's per capita income, a measurement of purchasing power, is in the range of $20,000 to $24,000, which exceeds that of China's by more than two times. It is a substantial increase from what it was 20 years ago, a tremendous accomplishment.

I think that 7.2 billion people, soon to be 8 billion and then 9 billion is reckless for the world. A stable population is good because that means there will be no unemployment crisis and massive infrastructure needs to compensate for rising population. The attention can be focused on quality, not quantity. Russia's stable population level is beneficial for the world as well as for its own economy.

The world is resource-scarce and Russia is resource-rich. There is land to produce a lot of the food that the world needs and there is a lot of gas to power the world's economy, which will become more important for future years. But in the end, we should come to an economy less dependent on resource-based revenues and see profits originating in other sectors more.