Russia’s prime minister on Thursday said that this summer’s decision to raise the retirement age was the hardest the authorities have had to make in the past 10 years.
Dmitry Medvedev, who became prime minister in 2012 and served as Russia’s president for a four-year term starting in 2008, announced plans to raise the pension age in June. The announcement sparked mass dissatisfaction and protests across the country, leading to a drop in the approval ratings of President Vladimir Putin and the ruling United Russia party. Putin signed the pension increase into law in October.
Speaking at his annual question and answer session with journalists on Thursday, Medvedev said that the “difficult” decision to raise the pension age was necessary.
“Let’s face it, it was the most difficult decision the authorities made over the past decade,” Medvedev was cited as saying by Interfax.
“From the beginning, everyone who was involved in preparing the decision knew that it would not raise the government’s popularity,” he added.
He stressed that the reform was made with the “long-term” success of the country in mind.