The government will end an $85 million annual subsidy to the postal service for newspaper and magazine deliveries, heralding sharp increases in the price of subscriptions and major problems for independent print media — likely reducing their access to Russia's regions.

Russian Post has been receiving 3 billion rubles ($85 million) annually to offset delivery costs, but in the planned federal budget for 2015 — which enters into force in July 2014 — that line item has disappeared. Costs will be transferred onto the shoulders of readers, and the price of subscriptions is likely to rise by 30 to 50 percent.

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