Reuters: Russian authorities are preparing new payments to citizens before the elections – a total of 500 billion rubles
The Russian authorities are discussing a new package of social payments to Russians amid protests in support of Alexei Navalny and ahead of the State Duma elections scheduled for September 2021. Writes about this Reuters, citing sources familiar with the discussion.
One of the sources said that the total amount of payments could amount to about 500 billion rubles, the second estimated them at 0.5% of GDP (this is about 580 billion).
According to the agency’s interlocutors, President Vladimir Putin may announce the payments during his annual message to the Federal Assembly, which is scheduled for March.
The Kremlin left the agency’s request for comment unanswered. A spokesman for Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said he was not aware of such discussions.
In 2020, against the backdrop of coronavirus restrictions, the real income of Russians fell by 3.5%. Some of the Russians who took part in the rallies in support of Navalny said that they were doing so out of discontent with the falling living standards.
Rating agency Fitch, in its forecast released on February 6, suggested that the protests could lead to an increase in budget spending. According to analysts, without additional payments against the background of falling incomes of citizens, social unrest can continue and in the long term contribute to undermining the authority of the government.