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Russian Car Owners Protest Gas Price Hikes, Taxes

Car owners in several major Russian cities have staged a protest against a national increase in gasoline prices and transportation taxes, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Members of the Federation Of Car Owners of Russia (FAR) drove in a convoy of several dozen cars along Moscow's Sadovoye Koltso ring on March 20.

More than 300 FAR activists held a separate public protest sanctioned by Moscow authorities.

Similar actions by car owners took place in St. Petersburg, Kazan, and other cities.

Protesters in St. Petersburg tried to hand a petition to city authorities, who refused to accept it on the grounds that Sunday (March 20) is not a work day, RFE/RL reported.

Gasoline prices in Russia have risen by 2.5 percent since January. Last year, the average annual gasoline price increase across Russia was 6-6.5 percent.

The current average price for a liter of gasoline in Russia is 23.5 rubles ($0.83).

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