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Will the new minimum wage be enough?

The minimum monthly wage in Russia is set to increase by 109% this September. Despite the rise to 2,300 roubles – the equivalent of 89 dollars – the amount still remains below the subsistence level.

The government says it plans to gradually bring the minimum wage into line by 2011.

Russia's health minister says a sharp wage rise could put too much pressure on pay scales, with employers finding it unprofitable to pay low-skilled workers a higher salary.  Regional budgets could also be affected.

According to statistics more than 15% of Russians live below the poverty line.