Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Raises Minimum Wage 43% Ahead of Presidential Elections

Dmitry Rogulin / TASS

Russian lawmakers have passed legislation raising the minimum wage ahead of schedule and slightly over a month before the presidential elections by up to 43%.

With elections approaching March 18, President Vladimir Putin had previously pledged to raise the minimum wage to the minimum subsistence level by late spring.

The bill that passed its third and final reading in the State Duma on Friday is set to raise the minimum wage to 11,163 rubles ($198) by May 1, 2018.

The Duma’s Twitter account said Russia’s lowest-earning income bracket would earn 43 percent more after the changes than what they earned last year.

The latest increase adds nearly 2,000 rubles to the minimum wage and brings it level to the minimum subsistence level.

Later on Friday, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the government would subsidize regions unable to finance the minimum wage increase, the RBC business portal reported.

Russian consumers’ real wages have decreased for four years straight in 2017, despite the national economy climbing out of recession following western sanctions and falling oil prices.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.