Vodka To Become Russian Economic Driving Force Again

Russia obtains the state monopoly on the vodka production

The state gets the people’s property back. Moreover, the state gets back the monopoly  on the production of Russia's major brand – vodka. As it became known, federal enterprise Soyuzplodoimport has recently retrieved the traditional monopoly on the production of world known vodka brands. The company 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 get considerable revenues, both taxes and export income,” said the minister.

The company OST Alko, one of the largest producers of alcohol beverages in Russia, became the first manufacturer of state vodka brands. This is the only private enterprise that received an award from the Russian government for its high-quality production. So far, the company deals with the production of only two kinds of Russian vodka – Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya. The production of new vodkas is coming soon.

The experts of Soyuzplodoimport and OST Alko assured that customers will not be offended by that. The level of production control is very high at the enterprise. In addition to that, a bottle of state vodka will not 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 current license issuing, the production might achieve the level of 5.1 million liters a year in 2003. Vladimir Loginov, the director of Soyuzplodoimport, said that the company was ready for the import of vodka. He also added that the works on the protection of the company’s rights in European courts were about to be completed.

The foreign economic association Soyuzplodoimport operated in the Soviet Union until the beginning of the 1990s. The company controlled all brands of state vodka, which were popular in the whole 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 for the Russian Agricultural Ministry.

Kira Poznakhirko

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Olga Savka