The upper house of Russia's parliament has voted to raise the fine for public beer consumption, according to local reports.

News agency RIA-Novosti said yesterday (23 November) that the law would mean that those caught drinking beer in public places could face fines of up to three times the minimum monthly wage, which currently stands at US$3.50.

While adults found supplying beer to under-18s would face a similar fine, the agency said, retailers selling beer to minors would be hit by penalties of up to 30 times the minimum monthly wage for shop employees and 10 times as much again for the shop owners.

The agency cited Alexei Klishin, first deputy speaker of the upper house's committee for legal issues, as saying: "The country is experiencing a mass consumption of beer and low-alcoholic drinks on the streets, transport and other public places, which is having a negative effect on the development of children and adolescents and is creating a permissive atmosphere."