The decision by AvtoVAZ to raise car prices in Russia has attracted criticism from high places and may well have incurred the displeasure of prime minister Vladimir Putin.

The 'One Russia' political party to which prime minister Vladimir Putin is chairman has slated AvtoVAZ for its decision to increase car prices by 2.45%.

"The decision of the AvtoVAZ management to increase prices on the 2009 range of cars causes bewilderment. We expect our domestic car industry to restrain prices on their production, which is highly important during the economic crisis and while the citizens' purchasing power is decreasing," a press release distributed by the One Russia party quoted secretary of One Russia Vyacheslav Volodin, as saying.

Volodin said that Russian Prime Minister, One Russia Chairman Vladimir Putin had taken effective measures to protect the Russian car industry.

"It was done to save the Russian car industry and those who work in this sphere. The actions of the AvtoVAZ management contradict the efforts of the party chairman [Putin]. Let us hope that our position will be heard and AvtoVAZ management's actions will be corrected," Volodin said.