November 01, 2004

Notebook



Duma Active

The State Duma has been active this fall. First, it passed amendments allowing for free transfer to the Orthodox Church of land on which churches, monasteries and other religious institutions reside. Many churches and monasteries, Russian media reported, which for some time have been museums, are also being handed back to the Church.

Second, the Duma continued its crackdown on beer producers (see Russian Life, September/October 2004). If current amendments to the beer bill are passed, Russians will no longer enjoy the cherished right to drink beer on the street, at the bus stop, inside the metro and in other public places, Kommersant reported. Offenders will be fined R100 ($3.40). Experts estimate that beer consumed from the bottle or can on the street now amounts to as much as 30% of all sales. Thus, beer producers could lose over $1 billion in sales if the bill is passed.


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