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Alcoholic beverages are currently off the menu at bars in Russia's lower chamber of parliament
Alcoholic beverages are currently off the menu at bars in Russia's lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma. "We are leading a healthy way of life," a barman joked after the building's authorities decided to slap a temporary ban on liquor. The white cloth over the bottles came in the wake of a motion in the chamber put forward by Irina Savelyeva, a member of the patriotic Homeland faction. She wanted to prohibit beer in a bar on the building's 12th floor. "Let's not turn the State Duma into a pub," she told her colleagues. But the local authorities seem to have gone even further. In a step that might have shocked British parliamentarians, who have eights bars and 23 restaurants to choose from in the Palace of Westminster, the Russian chamber's three snack bars and two small stores are no longer offering their traditional fare of bottled and draught beer, vodka, Champagne, and a variety of wines and cognacs. The bar on the first floor currently offers one type of non-alcoholic beer and vodka going for nearly 1,000 rubles (about $35) per bottle. Although it might be considered a steep mark-up on the typical $2-3 for half a liter of vodka, the bottle does feature a double-headed eagle, the symbol of pre-revolutionary Russia, on the label.
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