Putin says he's raising the minimum wage and pensions in Russia by 10% to counter inflation

Putin says he's raising the minimum wage and pensions in Russia by 10% to counter inflation
Russian President Vladimir Putin said 2022 will be a difficult year for the country's economy.ALEXEY DANICHEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images
  • Putin is hiking Russian minimum wage and pensions to counter inflation, which hit 17.8% in April.
  • The Russian president said high inflation in Russia is not entirely linked to the Ukraine war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is hiking the country's minimum wage and pensions by 10% to help counter soaring inflation amid hard-hitting sanctions over the Ukraine war, Reuters reported.

Calling 2022 a difficult year for Russia, Putin on Wednesday rejected the notion that all of the country's economic issues were linked to the war, which it calls a special military operation, per Reuters.

"Because in countries that aren't conducting any 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," said Putin, according to the news agency.

Russia's inflation was 17.8% on-year in April, per Reuters. The US inflation rate hit 8.3% in April — near a four-decade high, but still significantly lower than Russia's current inflation rate.

The minimum wage and pension hikes are slated to start on June 1. The current minimum wage is 13,890 rubles ($233) a month, and the average retirement pension is 18,521 rubles ($311) a month, according to Reuters.


Russia has been hit with sweeping sanctions since starting the war in Ukraine in February. Trade experts from the Institute of International Finance said the economy is "imploding." They are expecting Russia's GDP to collapse by 30% by the end of 2022.

But Putin said on Wednesday the Russian economy had "better dynamics than forecast by some experts," the Financial Times reported. The unemployment rate has remained stable at 4%, he said, per the media outlet. Official Russian government data shows the unemployment rate stayed around 4% in the first three months of 2022. Data for more recent months is not yet available.

Putin said he didn't expect inflation be above 15% in 2022, according to the FT. The Russian central bank on April 29 forecast a 18% to 23% inflation rate this year.

Russia's inflation soared after the invasion as the ruble collapsed. The currency has since recovered, but prices in the country are still elevated, per the FT.