Russia government obtains state monopoly on vodka production
The state is recovering the people’s property. Moreover, the state is recovering the monopoly it once had on the production of Russia’s all-time favorite beverage: vodka. The federal enterprise Soyuzplodoimport has recently recovered its traditional monopoly on the production of world-known vodka brands. The company has started producing Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya vodkas in the town of Chernogolovka, the Moscow region.
Russian Minister for Agriculture, Aleksey Gordeyev, pointed out that the event was of important economic and political significance. “The home market will be filled with high-quality vodka, and the state will receive considerable revenue: both from taxes and income earned from exports,” said the minister.
The company OST Alko, one of the largest producers of alcoholic beverages in Russia, was the first manufacturer of previously state-owned vodka brands. This is the only private enterprise that received an award from the Russian government for its high-quality products. So far, the company deals with the production of only two kinds of Russian vodka: Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya; however, new vodkas are coming soon.
Soyuzplodoimport and OST Alko assure customers will love their products. The level of production control is very high at the enterprises. In addition, a bottle of state-owned vodka will no cost more than 60 rubles (about two American dollars).
It is planned to produce 1.2 million decaliters of Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya vodka in 2003. However, taking into consideration the rate of issuing licenses for production, the level might achieve5.1 million liters a year in 2003. Vladimir Loginov, the director of Soyuzplodoimport, said that the company was ready to export vodka.
The foreign economic association Soyuzplodoimport operated during the time of the Soviet Union. The company controlled all brands of state vodka, which were quite popular all over the world. Then, the company was privatized and became the owner of tens of vodka brands. Last year, an arbitration court considered the privatization of 17 vodka brands illegal. The brands were registered to the Russian Agricultural Ministry.
Kira Poznakhirko PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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