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RUSSIA: Fears grow of a vodka riot

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As vodka supplies are expected to run dry by the end of this week news of a potential shortage of Russia's favourite tipple has prompted fears of a vodka riot.

"We already saw longer lines for vodka on Friday and if it continues we will get a vodka riot," the marketing director of the Russian Wine and Vodka Company, Gherman Klimovsky was quoted by the Moscow Times as saying.

Vodka makes up a large chunk of state revenues and panic is growing that if the government doesn't act immediately legal vodka will disappear and bootleggers, which reportedly account for 40%-70% of Russia's alcohol market will step in.

Meanwhile Duma state officials have decided to index the excise tax on alcoholic beverages by 12%. And it has been reported that the Russian Finance Ministry claims if the index goes ahead, the state could see R5bn (US$169.4m) in revenues.


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