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Russia To Raise Minimum Wage

17 December 2004 -- Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, voted today to raise the minimum wage incrementally to 1,100 rubles, or almost $40 a month, by May 2006. Currently, the minimum monthly wage in Russia is 600 rubles ($22).

By a vote of 416-0, the State Duma approved an increase in the monthly minimum wage to 720 rubles, or $26 by 1 January and 800 rubles, or some $30 by 1 May 2005.

More than one-fifth of Russia's population lives below the poverty level, according to official statistics.