Ahead of his New Year’s address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a variety of laws that included raising the minimum monthly wage starting next year by 7.5 percent, or to $195.
The law on minimum wage stipulates that the amount should not only equal the cost of living for the second quarter of the previous year but also may exceed this value.
According to the statistics agency of the European Union, the lowest monthly minimum wage as of July among EU countries was in Bulgaria, where it stands at 286 euros ($320).
The highest minimum wage in the EU is in Luxembourg – 2,071 euros ($2,320).
Putin also signed a law that allows smoking again in certain designated rooms of airports.