Enquiry Service of Legal Entities
Legal Base Rates/Prices
Application of data from the USRLE TIN (INN) check
Procedure of data provision Feedback
русская версия
Forgot password? Registration
Enquiry Service of Legal Entities

  Go to main page

Russians' Drinking Leaves Medvedev 'Breathless'

President Dmitry Medvedev has declared a war on yet another public evil - alcoholism this time -- and vowed to wage it "decisively but carefully", avoiding "stupid bans".

Russians support his initiative despite the sad experience of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign that was discredited and compromised by numerous "excesses".

However no drastic solutions have so far been offered other than declarations stating the horrifying scale of alcohol in the country and general measures.

Medvedev chaired a meeting in Sochi today to discuss how to reduce alcohol consumption in the country. He described the situation as "a national disaster" and had to admit that none of the measures taken had proved effective so far. Efforts were taken, large-scale campaigns were launched, but to no avail, he said. Authorities toughened the rules of alcohol production, sale and advertising and imposed harsher punishment for drunk driving, but no visible success was reached.

Medvedev cited statistics provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Development: annual consumption of alcohol in Russia is about 10 litres per person, including infants. "You can convert that amount into bottles of vodka. It leaves me breathless," the president said, adding that this is more than double the level determined by the World Health Organisation as dangerous for life and health.

Minister of Health and Social Development Tatyana Golikova said about 10 litres of alcohol per capita were sold in 2007, of which 80 percent were beer and 13.2 percent vodka and other hard liquor.

The head of state stressed the need to focus on reducing alcohol consumption in the first place, primarily among young people.

"According to the data we have, one third of young men and almost 20 percent of young women use such drinks daily or every other day," he said.

He also believes it necessary "to bring order to the work of retail networks and points of sale and strengthen responsibility for selling alcohol to minors. Selling alcohol to minors is inadmissible," he said.

"The sale of alcohol to people under the age of 18 is banned in Russia now as it has always been. It's no secret that this requirement is often ignored, which it was not in Soviet times," the president noted.

Restrictions are necessary, but without "stupid bans", Medvedev said earlier.

He believes that alcoholism should be fought "decisively but carefully", and certainly not by "stupid bans".

In his opinion, "there should be a system of measures to create new opportunities for people so that they could play sports, have normal leisure and simply get a fair income that would allow them to recreate decently".

However the president's meeting with ministers on alcohol abuse failed to produce tangible results, the network edition Expert says. The suggestions made were general and formal in nature.

The proposed measures are quite traditional. On the one hand, it's a set of restrictive and explanatory measures designed to promote healthy lifestyles, including harsher punishment for selling alcohol to minors, changes in the regulation of beer and low-alcohol drink production and sale to make them subject to the same regulatory principles and restrictions that apply to hard liquor, as well as a ban on the sale of alcohol near schools, recreational centres and sport facilities.

"We plan to create more than 500 health centers in regions. Agreements to this effect have already been signed with all regions," Golikova said, adding that they would be officially commissioned in September. The number of such centres will increase in 2010-2012. They will be supplemented with centres for children and adolescents.

The government is also pondering over economic aspects of the fight against alcoholism, such as bigger alcohol excises and state alcohol monopoly. The former, however, seems to frighten officials because people will use moonshine instead of expensive official alcohol. The Public Chamber, which is a sort of a people's parliament, presented its own concept of alcohol market regulation. Its key provision is the restoration of state monopoly on the retail alcohol market and higher alcohol excises in order to fight fake alcohol. Experts blame alcohol abuse in Russia on easy availability of alcohol 24 hours a day.

"Officials have to solve a real puzzle. One the one hand, they have to make alcohol less accessible for young people. On the other hand, they have to protect consumers from fake vodka, the amount of which will inevitably grow if prices rise," Izvestia daily writes.

Two-thirds of Russians (65 percent) are ready to support the new anti-alcohol campaign, while its opponents (25 percent) are obviously in the minority, the All-Russia Public Opinion Centre said on Tuesday. It had conducted its poll in 140 towns in 42 regions across Russia.

Women are more inclined to support the anti-alcohol campaign than men: 71 percent vs 57 percent. One-third of Russians (32 percent) and almost one in five Russian women (18 percent) oppose the anti-alcohol campaign. Only 3 percent of those polled believe that nothing should be done and that "the state should not interfere".

More news

Back to the news list

Copyright © 2005- Enquiry Service of Legal Entities LLC.
All rights reserved.

Fax: +7(495) 540-56-12 (24/7)
E-mail: info@RussianPartner.biz