Andrew Osborn writes in the Telegraph:
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The beverage is technically classified as a foodstuff for now, an anomaly that has allowed producers to avoid a sweeping new crackdown on alcohol advertising and night-time sales.
But a new Kremlin-backed bill that passed its first reading in the lower house of the Russian parliament on Tuesday will abolish beer’s special status, dragging Russian alcohol regulation into the 21st century.
“Normalising the beer production market and classifying it as alcohol is totally the right thing to do and will boost the health of our population,” Yevgeny Bryun, the ministry of health’s chief specialist on alcohol and drug abuse, said.
“We have been talking about and have wanted such a measure for ages. I take my hat off to the parliament.”
The new law would restrict beer sales at night, ban its sale in or close to many public places such as schools, and limit cans and bottles to a maximum size of 0.33 litres.