Russias authorities are getting tough on beer sales

Russia's authorities are getting tough on beer sales

New laws on beer sales in Russia have been introduced along with a ban on print media alcohol advertising. 

As of yesterday (1 January), beer sales from so-called 'non-stationary outlets' such as kiosks, pavilions and open-air markets are banned in the country. The consumption of alcohol in public spaces is also outlawed. 

Under the new rules, first announced in 2011, beer has been reclassified as an alcoholic beverage, having previously been deemed a food as it has an abv of less than 10%. This also bans the sale of beer in stores between the hours of 2300 and 0800.

The ban on print media advertising is an extension of measures introduced last July which outlawed alcohol promotions on television, radio, the internet, public transport and billboards.

The measures have been introduced to counteract Russia's problems with alcohol. Consumption in the country is twice the World Health Organization's “critical” level.

Meanwhile, the minimum price of vodka is also set to increase, according to Reuters. A half-litre bottle of vodka will cost a minimum of RUB170 (US$5.56), according to a regulatory decree published last week. 

Russia set a minimum price on vodka in early 2010 in a bid to cut harmful drinking by stamping out the bottom end of the market. Last year, the government also introduced a duty escalator on all alcoholic drinks, which runs until 2014.