- Putin is increasing Russia’s minimum wage and pensions to counter inflation, which hit 17.8% in April.
- The Russian president said that the high inflation in Russia was not entirely linked to the war in Ukraine.
- Putin said other countries are also experiencing high inflation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin raises the country’s minimum wage and pensions by 10% to help counter soaring inflation amid tough sanctions over the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported.
Calling 2022 a difficult year for Russia, Putin on Wednesday dismissed the idea that all of the country’s economic problems were linked to the war, which he calls a special military operation, according to Reuters.
“Because in countries that have no operations – say overseas, in North America, in Europe – inflation is comparable and, if you look at the structure of their economies, even more than ours,” he said. said Putin, according to the news agency.
Russian inflation was 17.8% year-on-year in April, compared to Reuters. The inflation rate in the United States hit 8.3% in April, nearly a four-decade high, but still significantly lower than Russia’s current inflation rate.
Minimum wage and pension increases are set to begin on June 1. The current minimum wage is 13,890 rubles ($233) per month and the average retirement pension is 18,521 rubles ($311) per month, according to Reuters.
Russia has been hit with sweeping sanctions since the war in Ukraine began in February. Trade experts from the Institute of International Finance said the economy was “imploding”. They expect Russia’s GDP to collapse by 30% by the end of 2022.
But Putin said on Wednesday that Russia’s economy had “better momentum than some experts predicted.” FinancialTimes reported. The unemployment rate remained stable at 4%, he said, according to the outlet. Official Russian government data shows that the unemployment rate remained around 4% in the first three months of 2022. Data for the most recent months is not yet available.
Putin said he did not expect inflation to exceed 15% in 2022, according to the FT. the russian central bank on April 29 predicted an inflation rate of 18% to 23% this year.
Russian inflation soared after the invasion as the ruble crashed. the the currency has since recoveredbut prices in the country are still high, according to the FT.