To encourage offspring ... Russia gives thousands of dollars to new parents

 Russia is seeking to increase the low birthrate by giving generous amounts of new fathers, according to a law passed by the lower house of parliament, today, Thursday.

According to the law, a family, a single father or a single mother can receive about 466,000 rubles ($ 7,300) for the first child from the beginning of the year.

This amount is equivalent to ten times the national average annual wage, according to data released by the Russian Federal Statistics Authority.

For the second child, the sum will be approximately 616,000 rubles, the lower house of parliament said in a statement.

With the total fertility rate down to two births per woman, Russia is struggling to maintain its population of about 147 million people.

Russia, the largest country in the world geographically, is ranked ninth in terms of population in the world after Bangladesh.

Russian President Vladimir Putin cited economic hardship as a major factor behind the falling birth rate.

In his State of the Nation speech last month, Putin said the falling birth rate was a "direct threat" to the country's future.

Putin said the total fertility rate was expected to reach 1.7 per woman in 2024, proposing monetary incentives to help new families.

"This is one of the most important initiatives of the president's speech," Vyacheslav Volodin, president of the lower house, said in a statement on Thursday.

 

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