In the summer of 2002 the Russians' living standards returned to the August 1998 pre-crisis level, said Vladimir Sokolin, Chairman of the State Statistics Committee at a press-conference on Wednesday.
Sokolin said that the real cash incomes of the population in June 2002 exceeded the August 1998 figures by 5.4%, and those of September 1998, by 28.4%. Real wages in June 2002 were 18.7% higher than in August 1998, and 55% higher than in September of the same year.
Sokolin noted at the same time that the real size of the fixed monthly pensions by the end of the first six months of the current year did not reach the pre-crisis level -- they were only 92.5% of the August 1998 level.
The unemployment rate has considerably dropped in the past four years, recalled Sokolin. In June 2002 it was only 70% of the August 1998 level. In June 2002 wage arrears were 40% of the September 1998 figures, he added.
The United States does not recognize the entry of Ukrainian territories into Russia. Such a development will seriously complicate prospects for a diplomatic settlement