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Russia's Trade Ministry Proposes Halving Price of Vodka to $1.50

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti

Russia’s Trade Ministry has proposed slashing the minimum price of vodka to just 100 rubles ($1.50) per half liter, state news channel RT (Russia Today) reported Thursday, citing a ministry report.

The report advocates “a balanced excise policy” which would almost halve the minimum price of vodka, down to its “optimal price” of 100 rubles for half a liter.

Without stating an optimal price, the report also proposed that “good quality” wine become “more accessible” for consumers and that beer prices don't increase.

The current minimum price for half a liter of vodka is 190 rubles ($3), The low legal minimum cost is considered key in combating the sale of cheap counterfeit alcohol, RT reported.

In an effort to lower illegal alcohol sales to 8-10 percent of the market, the ministry report recommends easing the process for gaining an alcohol sales license. Illegal sales currently make up 30 percent of the market.

The Trade Ministry also recommended harsher punishments for the illegal production of alcohol, RT reported. 

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