Russia sets minimum price for vodka
Russia set a new minimum price for all vodka sold in the country, in a bid to curb alcoholism and the production and sale of bootleg vodka, both widespread in Russia, dpa reported.
The minimum price of 89 roubles (3 US dollars) for a half-litre bottle of vodka came into effect on Friday, just as Russian police confiscated about 21,000 bottles of illegal vodka in the Siberian city of Chita, Russian police reported.
However, many doctors fear that the minimum price - announced earlier this week - will prompt more people to use illegal alcohol or turn to industrial alcohol or other intoxicants like antifreeze.
According to estimates, hundreds of thousands of people die from alcohol consumption per year in Russia, where about 14 litres of pure alcohol are consumed per person per year.
The alcohol confiscated in Chita had been hidden in a container from Moscow and was intended for sale much below the minimum price, police said.
The minimum price is due to be reviewed annually by a government commission.