Russia is taking its food diplomacy—or fighting really—to a whole new level. Russia’s consumer protection agency has the unusual habit of going into overdrive when conventional diplomacy fails. On Wednesday, the latest round of economic bickering between Russia and Ukraine set Moscow on a consumer protection crusade that borders on the absurd. Or just is absurd really. The problem this time is not Ukrainian chocolate or dairy, which have already been nixed by Russian authorities, nor is it tainted beef or chicken that might be a legitimate concern for anyone; the problem is Ukrainian booze.
“When scrutinizing imports of vodka, beer and other beverages from Ukraine a number of breaches in consumer protection legislation were discovered,” Russia’s consumer protection agency said in a statement, according to RT. Here’s what they found via Agence France Press:
The Rospotrebnadzor consumer protection agency said that various brands of Ukrainian beer, wine and spirits “failed to meet requirements identified on their labels”. It said samples of Obolon beer showed an improper calorie count while spirits sold by the Ukrainian Distribution Company had misrepresented their alcohol content… Federal Customs Service data show Russia having imported $90.3 million (67.5 million euros) in Ukrainian alcohol in 2013.
Presumably, the calorie content of the Ukrainian brew was considered to be artificially low and the alcohol content inflated.