Russian President Vladimir Putin declared income of 7.65 million rubles ($151,500) for 2014, double the sum of a year earlier, though he earned less than Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
An annual income statement, published on the Kremlin’s website on Wednesday, showed that the president owns a 77 square-meter apartment (828.8 square feet), a garage, and a plot of land measuring 1,500 square meters. He also has two vintage Soviet-era Gaz cars, a Lada Niva and a car trailer.
Putin, who declared income of 3.67 million rubles for 2013, increased his and Medvedev’s salaries by 165 percent in April last year. Last month, he ordered a 10 percent cut in their pay and those of other government employees from May 1 as Russia’s economy heads toward its first recession in six years in response to slumping oil prices and U.S. and European Union sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.
“The procedures for reducing salaries began after the start of the year and this will be reflected in the next declaration period,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday.
Medvedev declared 2014 income of 8.05 million rubles, compared to 4.26 million in 2013, as well as an apartment measuring 367.8 square meters and two vintage Soviet-era Gaz cars, while his wife Svetlana declared the apartment, two car-parking spaces and a Volkswagen Golf. Medvedev introduced the requirement for senior government officials and family members to disclose their income and property in 2008, when he was president, as part of efforts to combat corruption.
Putin told a Kremlin news conference in 2008 that reports he enjoys an enormous private fortune as Europe’s wealthiest man were “simply nonsense, nothing to discuss.” The president had no other income than his salary in 2014, Peskov said on Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin declared the highest 2014 income among ministers, of 280.6 million rubles, followed by Mikhail Abyzov, at 222 million rubles, according to a list on the government’s website.
The statements also show the spouses of many government ministers earned many times more than they did. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov’s 2014 income was 9.23 million rubles and his wife Olga’s was 42.9 million rubles, while Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich declared 5.7 million rubles, nearly nine times less than his wife Zumrud’s income of 49.8 million rubles.
“Everyone has absolutely different incomes, everyone has a different past. Someone worked in business, somebody has bank deposits, some means of income,” Peskov said. “The main thing is that it’s all in line with the law and properly declared.”
The declarations “don’t correspond to the living standards” of many of those in power in a system where “business is based on the state and the state is based on its privileged business,” Igor Bunin, director of the Moscow-based Center for Political Technologies, said by phone. “To write that Putin has 7 million or 100,000 doesn’t mean anything. He’s completely provided for by the state.”