One of Russia's major wine distributors has slammed a Russian Government proposal to impose a state monopoly on alcohol sales in the country.

The Russian Government has appointed a committee to investigate the reintroduction of state control over the sale of alcohol.

A decision is expected by March 2010, Dimitri Pinsky, owner of distributor and retailer DP-Trade, told the Winefuture conference in Spain today (13 November).

He said that his company would lodge an appeal for table wines to be excluded from any ruling.

Russian authorities are considering a state monopoly as part of efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.

"Alcohol abuse is not a new thing in Russia," said Pinsky. "It looks artificial and suspicious that the volume of the alcohol market looks attractive and is now worth nationalising.

"There have been previous attempts at state monopoly but it was never as alarming as this time."