MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti)
Russia may raise tariffs on hard liquor to about 20 percent a liter by 2015, according to a draft tax document that the Finance Ministry issued on Saturday.
Excise on anhydrous ethanol will be increased to 600 rubles ($20) per liter, the document said. One liter of anhydrous ethanol is used to produce about five half-liter bottles of vodka.
Excise duties on anhydrous ethanol rose from January 2012 by over 9 percent from 231 rubles to 254 rubles a liter of spirits and from July 1 will rise to 300 rubles. From thereon, duties will rise to 400 rubles from 2013 and 500 rubles by 2014.
Growth in duties on beer will slow by 2015, compared to the last three years, but will reach 20 rubles a liter by 2015.
Excise on cigarettes should rise to 960 rubles per thousand cigarettes plus 9 percent of estimated maximum retail value, but no less than 1,250 rubles per thousand cigarettes in 2015.
Excise on cigarettes is currently 360 rubles per thousand plus 7.5 percent of maximum retail value, and should rise to 550 rubles plus eight percent in 2013 and 800 rubles plus 8.5 percent in 2014.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.