Kremlin denies reports of plans to unveil $6.7 billion spending package to ease discontent
During a press briefs on Tuesday, February 9, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied reports from Reuters that the Russian authorities are considering rolling out a $6.7-billion funding package to ease popular discontent ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for this fall.
“First, no such goal is being pursued. And second, there aren’t any one-time payments planned to be announced in the near future. You know that additional funds are being allocated constantly...to doctors, additional funds for children, and so on.”
According to Peskov, the Russian authorities are going to continue offering targeted assistance to those segments of the population that are most in need. “There isn’t some 500-billion-ruble [$6.7-billion] package prepared,” he underscored.
In 2020, real incomes in Russia fell by 3.5 percent — they’re now 10 percent lower than in 2013, the last time the country saw sustained growth in real incomes.
The rating agency Fitch Ratings predicted that the mass protests in support of imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny could lead to an increase in budget spending and complicate the government’s attempts to obtain a constitutional majority during the State Duma elections set for this coming September.