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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Railways to Push Up Tariffs

The Railways Ministry will raise its domestic and international prices by up to 20 percent starting Monday, ministry spokeswoman Tatyana Pashkova said Friday.

The ministry has not raised its prices in three years, but is forced to now because of rising fuel and maintenance costs, she said.

Following the August 1998 financial crisis, the ministry slashed tariffs by 20 percent to protect crisis-hit industries. The railways carry 90 percent of all cargo within Russia.

Cargo transport tariffs will increase 10 percent and passengers will also pay more, Pashkova said.

First-class tickets will cost 20 percent more, and second-class ones an extra 10 percent. Passengers riding third class or on commuter trains will pay no more, she said.

International transport fees will go up according to the portion of travel within Russia, Pashkova said.

The tariff increases break a vow earlier this year by First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksyonenko not to raise ticket prices until the end of the 1999.

In spring, before the beginning of the vacation season in Russia, the ministry launched a massive advertising campaign with numerous newspaper ads and television commercials guaranteeing "steady prices."

"We cannot operate in a vacuum," Pashkova said. "The prices of everything that we have to pay for to operate are growing constantly."