Vladimir Putin has vowed to lift Russia’s minimal wage and the salaries of all public sector staff as a part of measures designed to cushion western financial sanctions triggered by his choice to wage struggle towards Ukraine.
Talking on Wednesday at a gathering about offering help to Russian areas, the president mentioned the federal government would additionally enhance pensions and state payouts to the deprived as the worth of products rose.
“I perceive that rising costs are severely hitting folks’s incomes,” Putin mentioned by way of video hyperlink. “Due to this fact, within the close to future, we’ll determine to extend all social advantages.”
The measures are an early indication of the blow the western punitive measures towards Russia’s banking system, cost community and commerce are beginning to have on the nation’s economic system.
Costs of imported items have soared as the worth of the rouble has plummeted. Panic-buying of staple merchandise has triggered snap shortages in some areas. Russian carmaker Avtovaz on Wednesday mentioned it was bringing its staff’ scheduled summer season vacation ahead to April “as a result of ongoing disaster within the provide of digital elements and as a way to keep away from a big discount in worker earnings”.
Putin sought to reassure Russians by insisting there can be no large-scale shortages of products and that the Russian central financial institution wouldn’t must “print cash” because the nation had enough funds revenues. He additionally instructed his authorities to scale back the poverty charge by the top of the yr.
Whereas he admitted that sanctions would pressure Russia’s economic system, he mentioned the state of affairs can be useful in the long term because it meant turning into extra unbiased from the west.
“After all, the brand new actuality would require deep structural adjustments to our economic system,” Putin mentioned. “I gained’t conceal that they are going to be tough. They may result in a short lived rise in inflation and unemployment. Our activity is to minimise such dangers.”
He repeated claims that the west would have imposed sanctions on Russia no matter Russia’s assault on Ukraine and complained about western nations’ alleged plan to rein in Russia’s growth.
Putin additionally blamed the EU and US for saying “a really actual default on their obligations earlier than Russia” and mentioned Russia’s overseas reserves have been “merely stolen”. He was referring to an earlier indication by Moscow that it could pay two curiosity cost on dollar-denominated bonds in roubles, which credit score businesses say would possible quantity to a technical default. Two curiosity funds are due on Wednesday.
Some western corporations, similar to McDonald’s and Ikea, have suspended operations in Russia because the sanctions have been established, putting quite a few jobs in Russia in danger. The Kremlin has instructed it could nationalise some property, describing this as a measure meant to maintain enterprise operating.