Russia Letter – Moscow – March 29th
Date on real disposable income in Russia kicked off last week’s significant statistics. According to the official data, the real disposable income of Russians in February fell by 6.9 percent year on year.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for February, which was announced last week, was more optimistic and remained unchanged at 5.8 percent compared to the previous month.
A recent poll by VTsIOM, a public opinion research organization, revealed that 72 percent of Russians believe that “major spending” should be avoided due to the recession in the country while 87 percent fear having to obtain loans from banks.
Oleg Chernozub, an expert from VTsIOM, highlights that while these figures were never previously this “negative,” the data on consumer behavior also indicates that the Russian economy may have entered a “deflationary spiral.”
A strong message has been sent to Russian officials with an announcement by the country’s statistical services, Rosstat, which showed that the amount of people living in poverty increased by 3.1 million last year, totaling 19.2 million.
This means that 13.4 percent of the country’s population is living in poverty.
- Turkey-Russia relations improving?
Another important development last week was from Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
She said that the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Ankara was temporary and could be overcome.
In another interview, Alexey Roshin, a leading expert on social psychology at Moscow-based Center for Political Technologies told Anadolu Agency that relations could start to normalize once again as the country has started to withdraw its army from Syria.
The deteriorating relations between Turkey and Russia could thaw out before summer, thanks to Russians' love for Turkish holiday resorts, provided that key political obstacles are overcome.