5:16 p.m. ET, May 25, 2022
Putin announces 10% hike in state pensions and minimum wage as inflation rises in Russia
President Vladimir Putin has announced that state pensions and the minimum wage will rise substantially in Russia from June 1.
According to the state news agency TASS, Putin made the announcement at a meeting of the State Council.
"We discussed this issue with the government for a long time, there were differences within the government and a solution was worked out," he said according to TASS. “I propose to increase the pensions of non-working pensioners by 10% from June 1."
"Our main task is to ensure [a] further increase in the minimum wage, so that the citizens’ income level would significantly exceed the size of the subsistence rate," he added.
Some background: Pensions were raised by 8.6% at the beginning of the year, but inflation has risen sharply this year. Putin said it was currently 17.5% but would decline to 15% by the end of the year. However, he denied that the spike in inflation was related to the conflict in Ukraine.
"The current year is not easy. Since its beginning, cumulative inflation has exceeded 11%. But when I say 'not easy' this does not mean at all that all these difficulties are associated with this special military operation, because in countries that do not conduct any operations, say, across the ocean, in North America, in Europe, inflation is comparable. And if you look at the structure of their economy — it’s even more than ours, and in some neighboring countries, it’s many times higher," Putin said.