Chechnya ‘Plenty of Fun Without Booze’ — Parliamentary Speaker

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov dances at the Grozny Airport. Sergei Uzakov / TASS

When you visit Chechnya, there’s no need to drink. The republic is plenty of fun without booze – at least that’s what the Chechen parliamentary speaker thinks.

“I have no doubt that Chechnya is so much fun for visitors that they simply have no desire to add artificial joy into the mix,” Speaker Magomed Daudov said Friday.

Daudov’s comments come amid a republic-wide clampdown on alcohol sales brought about by a drunk driving accident on Nov. 28, when an intoxicated Chechen man crashed his car into oncoming traffic.

In the aftermath of the incident, which claimed seven lives, the Chechen government called a meeting with the handful of local shop owners with liquor licenses.

During the meeting headed by Daudov, all fourteen entrepreneurs in attendance agreed to “voluntarily” give up their liquor licenses.

The disappearance of shops selling alcohol will not harm the republic’s budget, nor lead to illegal trade in alcohol in Chechnya, Daudov claimed Friday.

“Illegal trade usually depends upon a total ban [on alcohol sales],” he said, “and we only have restrictions on alcohol sales.”

Until the recent crackdown, alcohol was sold in Chechnya by specially licensed stores between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m.

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