MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia's drug control agency has proposed banning sales of nitrous oxide - also known as laughing gas - saying the substance is a "challenge" to the country.
"Laughing gas is, in our opinion, another challenge to our country because nitrous oxide is not controllable," said Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service.
"Rules regardings its sales and use should be introduced as soon as possible," Ivanov said.
He also warned that the substance, which is also used as anaesthetic, "affects the central nervous system and inflicts significant harm to health."
The gas is currently on unrestricted sale.
Ivanov said the agency would get the government to look at the proposal "in the next few days."
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).