In 2012, social payments to different categories of citizens will gradually increase, President Viktor Yanukovych said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, ForUm learned from the presidential press office.

"By the end of this year, we will gradually increase social payments. It will happen gradually in order to not disrupt the [economic] course, to avoid inflation, not to do harm," he said, adding that the program will continue in 2013.

The President emphasized that the program of social initiatives he had proclaimed is not a one-time event. "In 2004, ... we have increased pensions 2.5 times. The minimum pension back then was 107 hryvnyas, so we increased pensions to 279 hryvnyas. Our opponents said it was a one-time action. And currently, we have the living wage of 1,000 to 1,070 hryvnyas," said Viktor Yanukovych.

The President noted that currently, as the state budget has started receiving additional income, so it is necessary to increase assistance to citizens. "Everything that I have suggested that the Government made, of course, has some risks, but we understand, why do we take them," he said.

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