MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Poor ecology causes annual damage amounting anywhere from 6 to 15% of the GDP, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday speaking at a meeting of Russia’s State Council on ecology.

“The annual environmental damage reaches 6% of the GDP every year, and, taking into account the consequences for people, it may grow to 15% of the GDP,” he said.

Putin recalled remarks by Academician Vladimir Vernadsky who warned at the beginning of last century that people would have to assume responsibility for the development of both mankind and nature. “And the time has come, mankind has accumulated a huge environmental debt and continues to test nature to the limit,” the president noted, adding that this process affects people too.

According to the Russian leader, 7-8 million people die annually due to air pollution. Putin noted that these disturbing figures apply to Russia as well. “In some areas, the burden shouldered by nature has reached critical levels,” the president said.