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Russia Raises Minimum Price for Vodka

The minimum price for vodka has been raised in Russia as part of the government's crackdown on the production of counterfeit alcohol.

From June 13, half a liter of vodka in Russia will cost consumers 190 rubles ($2.9) minimum. Previously, the minimum price was 185 rubles ($2.8), according to a decree by the Finance Ministry published on the official government website last month.

The government set a minimum price for vodka for the first time in 2009 and has been increasing them ever since.

The exception was in 2015, when the price of vodka was lowered from 220 rubles ($3.3) to 185 rubles after President Vladimir Putin said that the high alcohol prices lead to increased consumption of fake alcohol, the RBC news website reported.

According to Vadim Drobiz, director of the Research Center for Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets, the measure will not bring any changes to the market, as the majority of vodka in Russia is sold at prices above the government-set minimum.

“Raising the minimum retail price by 5 rubles is a purely political decision: Many say that vodka is too cheap — and here's the reaction of the state,” Drobiz was quoted as saying by RBC.

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