The number of unemployed in Russia has dropped by 5-7 million over the last two years. According to a Rosbalt correspondent, this was announced by Deputy Russian Minister for Labour and Social Development Maxim Topilin at a plenary session of the Federal Council yesterday. He said that the continual growth of the Russian economy since 1998 had helped to supply jobs for the Russian population. 'Today we can certify that the labour market has successfully adapted to the new economic realities,' Mr Topolin emphasised. He added that at the beginning of 2003 1.5 million unemployed were officially registered at Russian employment agencies. According to Mr Topolin, the number of unemployed varies significantly in different regions of the country. For example, in the Kaluzhsk and Lipetsk Regions the figure is only 0.6% while in the Republic of Ingushetia and the Koryaksky Autonomous District the figure is 10% or more.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba believes that "Crimea has already become a" suitcase without a handle” for Russia