Men who buy sex in the Belgorod region in southern Russia now face a considerable fine, as well as public shaming into the bargain, local police reported on Thursday.
A new bill passed by regional legislature introduces fines of 5,000 rubles ($150) for clients of Belgorod prostitutes, the local police force said on its website.
The federal minimum wage in Russia is currently 4,611 rubles a month. The average monthly income in Belgorod region stood at 18,000 rubles, the local edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda reported in April.
The fines will be imposed by magistrates during open hearings that would expose the call girls’ patrons to the public, police said.
Prostitution is illegal in Russia, but there is no federal legislation punishing prostitutes’ clients.
The Belgorod region has a track record of campaigning for morals under Governor Yevgeny Savchenko, who has been managing it since 1993 and is now the region’s acting head.
Savchenko’s administration prohibited the celebration of Valentine’s Day and Halloween, among other things, in the region, a move sanctioned by a local archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, denouncing both informal holidays as alien to Russian culture.
Local authorities were also credited with prohibiting heavy metal concerts in Belgorod as part of their campaign to “end Satanic activity” in the region.