Bearing in mind the fact that Russian migrants, who have come in droves to Serbia following the war in Ukraine, are mostly educated people with good jobs in foreign companies the question is how much and how do they spend their money in Serbia.
Some say that their monthly expenses are over 2,000 euros, but most of them said they need a minimum of 700 euros to make it through the month.
The financial status of Russian migrants differs from person to person. Most of them are university graduates from the urban environment, who have good jobs in foreign companies. In addition to well-to-do Russians, many of them use savings they brought from Russia and their parents send them money to live in Serbia.
“Ordinary people with some kind of savings, including myself, seem to get around with 500 to 1,000 euros, of which only the rent is somewhere around 300 to 400 euros,” one of the Russians that the Blic interviewed said.
When we asked another Russian, Andrei, about the cost of living in Serbia, he said that it depended on the lifestyle that individual Russians chose:
“As for personal budget in Serbia, if you want to live frugally and spend only on rent, food, transportation and few other living costs, then you need about 80,000 dinars. But if you want to live a freer lifestyle, you need much, much more”, he said.
When asked what he spent the most money on in Belgrade, he replied that it is Belgrade cafes that are very interesting to him because of the people he meets.
“Personally, I spend a lot of money in cafes because Serbs like to chat a lot, and I have grown to like that,” Andrei adds.
Many Russians we interviewed said that the Serbian food was tasty and prices affordable, i.e. much lower compared to big Russian cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg.
Many also said that food in Serbia is twice as cheap, that it is more diverse and that it is of top quality. That’s why they like going to restaurants and cafes.
“For example, a cappuccino in Belgrade costs around 220 dinars, and in Moscow, it costs 500 dinars. And a good dinner with a glass of wine costs here around 1,000 dinars, while the cheapest dinner in Moscow is around 2,400 dinars. I think you have fair prices and logistics, and taxes are lower than in Russia”, Andrei says.
“In Serbia, prices are somewhere around 30-40 percent lower. If you choose carefully and buy cheaper brands, the difference is even bigger. I bought pasta for 100 dinars (the equivalent of about 50 rubles) recently. The quality of pasta in Russia, which costs the same, is much lower,” says one of our interlocutors.
One interlocutor also said that fruits such as raspberries, plums or apples are too expensive in Russia. He gave the example of prunes, which are considered a delicacy in Russia and cost there between 3,000 and 4,000 dinars a kilo.
The same situation is with public transport which is considerably cheaper in Serbia.
“Meat sold in ordinary shops in Serbia is much better than in Russia. Such meat by in Russia can only be bought directly from farmers, while the quality of meat in ordinary shops is much worse. Also, there is very little ready-made food in Serbia while there is plenty of it sold in Russian stores,” one of the Russians we interviewed has said.
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