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    Pensions to be raised 50% by 2008

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    MOSCOW, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - The average Russian pension will be raised from the current 2,700 rubles ($93.65) to almost 4,000 rubles ($139) by 2008, Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov told journalists Monday.

    Zurabov said he had met with President Vladimir Putin to discuss upping pensions during the next five years. "This issue is to be resolved simultaneously with raising wages for public sector workers," Zurabov said.

    Zurabov said he expected the ministry would meet the challenge.

    Putin called attention to the need to increase the availability of hi-tech and expensive medical assistance for citizens beginning next year.

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