Until Wednesday, Russia did not consider beer to be a type of alcohol since it contained less than ten percent alcohol. President Dmitry Medvedev has now signed a bill that regulates beer sales in the same manner as other spirits.
The move was done in part to curb alcohol abuse; Russia imbibes alcohol on more twice the critical level set by the World Health Organization.
With the new bill, beer can no longer be sold like a soft drink and it will not be allowed to be sold between 11PM and 8AM. Moreover, beer will no longer be allowed to be sold at public transport stops, gas stations, airports, and kiosks. These shops account for about a third of all beer sales.
The law will not take effect until 2013. In the meantime, the Kremlin may have other foodstuff issues to worry about, such as McDonald’s classifying itself as a supermarket.