Russia is restricting sales of beer in an attempt to curb
alcoholism, Interfax news agency reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said alcoholism is a
serious problem in Russia. It has one of the world's highest
alcohol consumption rates according to the World Health
Organisation. A 2011 WHO study said every fifth death among
Russian men and six percent of deaths among women are
attributable to alcohol abuse.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed amendments to
alcohol laws in July 2011 to reclassify beer as liquor. The
new law, which came into effect on Tuesday (local time),
restricts the amount of beer stalls and kiosks can sell and
bans sales between the hours of 11pm and 8am, Interfax
Beer companies operating in Russia include Danish brewer
Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The big brewers are relying on emerging market growth and
price rises to offset tough conditions in mature European
markets. However, initial success in Russia has come up
against a series of profit-sapping government measures in
In 2012 Russian taxes on beer rose by 20 percent and,
according to a Finance Ministry plan approved in 2011, will
rise by a further 25 percent in 2013 and 20 percent in 2014.
Russia has also raised the minimum price for vodka and banned
drinks advertising in the media, including on the Internet.