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Russia to Pay $83M to Israeli Pensioners in 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a news conference at the Kremlin in Moscow, June 7, 2016.

Russia is to pay 5.4 billion rubles ($83 million) in pensions to former Soviet Union citizens now living in Israel in 2017, the Labour Ministry announced in a statement Thursday.

The new policy follows a social security agreement signed during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's latest visit to Moscow, which began on June 6.

The agreement, which comes into force in 2017, will give former residents of the Soviet Union the right to receive payments from Russian government if they moved to Israel before 1992.

Payments will be made to roughly 100,000 people, including pensioners, disabled people, and other at-risk groups, the Labour Ministry document said.

The announcement was followed by a wave of comments on the social media. Many Russians referred to a recent statement by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who told a Crimean woman in May 2016 that there was “just no money” to increase pensions, and to “hang on in there.”

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