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Russia to raise minimum price of vodka by up to 30% in 2014

Published:  02 December, 2013

Russia is looking to raise the minimum price of vodka by up to 17% on January 1, 2014 in an effort to reduce consumption levels. With further rises planned throughout the year.

The price hike will add up to 199 roubles for a half-litre of vodka from the new year. But there are concerns the increase in price will see drinkers turn to to illegally produced, cheaper liquor.

The Russian government initially imposed a minimum pricing on strong spirits back in 2010 in response to figures that alcoholism is estimated to contribute up to 30% of deaths in the country.  The prices have since been raised annually to keep up with taxes and inflation.

Further hikes in price will go into effect on August 1, 2014, raising the minimum price to 220 roubles, a 30% increase in the minimum price of vodka over the course of next year. Russian lawmakers are also considering a rise in the legal drinking age from 18 to 21.

In addition to minimum pricing policy on vodka and spirits, the government in recent years has also banned alcohol advertising, raised excise taxes, and restricted sales after 11 pm.