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Addressing the blowback to proposed pension reforms, United Russia tries to get its regional officials on message

Source: Meduza

United Russia recently held a closed meeting with representatives from its regional offices to discuss the proposed raising of the country’s retirement age. Party officials reportedly told the group that “they need to accept the reforms and they have to discuss how to limit the blowback and explain them to people, no matter how unpleasant it is.”

People who attended the meeting told the newspaper Vedomosti that the audience was not overwhelmingly receptive to this advice. Party officials are apparently being told to defend the pension reforms as a way to raise retirement benefits.

Boris Kolesnikov, United Russia’s secretary in Sevastopol, told the newspaper Kommersant that the discuss at the last closed meeting was “heated” and full of “tough questions,” but he says the group ultimately agreed that “reforms must be supported.”

Starting next year, the reforms would take effect gradually, raising the retirement age for men from 60 to 65 by 2028 and from 55 to 63 for women by 2034. The reforms would start as soon as next year.

Small protests against the government’s push to raise Russia’s retirement age are planned or have already taken place in dozens of cities across the country.

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