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Russian Government Rejects Proposed Tax on Chips and Fizzy Drinks

The Russian government has not supported the draft law designed to impose taxes on "unhealthful" products, including potato chips and fizzy drinks, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

In the law's conclusion, the government cited President Vladimir Putin's 2014 message that emphasized the necessity of "fixing" the existing tax conditions for the next four years.

"The issues that concern health care and food production safety must be discussed within the framework of relevant legislation of the Russian Federation. Considering the above, the government of the Russian Federation does not support the draft law," the conclusion read, Interfax reported.

The law was introduced in December 2015 by Oleg Mikheyev, a deputy from A Just Russia Party. Mikheyev suggested that new taxes be introduced on food products with high sugar and fat levels — pointing out that similar taxes have already been successfully implemented in the United States and in some of European countries. The UN has also considered the introduction of a 10 percent tax intended to reduce the consumption of unhealthful products.

The head of the Russian Health Ministry said that the government is still considering the introduction of the tax. Products with the high contents of oil and sugar, chips and electronic cigarettes may again be discussed.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Yevgeny Gromyko claimed on Monday that the tax, if introduced, would not lead to an increase in food prices, Interfax reported.

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