PRAGUE, October 7 (RIA Novosti)
Alcoholic beverage importers in Slovakia have joined with a Czech industry group in appealing to the Slovakian government to lift the ban on import of Czech products containing more than 20 percent alcohol, Czech News Agency reported.
Slovakia halted imports of Czech liquor on September 18 after at least 27 people died of bootleg alcohol poisoning in the worst such incident in 30 years.
They note that the Czech Republic has already lifted the ban on domestic sales of hard liquor that it imposed on September 14.
“The whole [methanol] problem had to do with the black market, not traditional producers,” said Roman Pots, an official with Slovakia’s Trade and Tourism Association.
“Product that is absolutely safe is piling up in warehouses,” he said, pointing out that no products containing methyl alcohol had been detected anywhere in Slovakia’s retail network.
The head of the Czech Food Chamber, Miroslav Toman, suspects that the Slovakian authorities caved in to the domestic alcohol production lobby and said his office is ready to take the matter to international arbitration.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.