Russia’s minimum vodka prices will rise by almost a third this year, according to a draft resolution prepared by the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation, Kommersant business daily reported on Tuesday. The retail prices of Russia’s most popular vodka brands will rise 28 percent to at least 125 rubles ($3.90) per 0.5 liters from the current price of 98 rubles. The Russian alcohol market regulator normally adjusts minimum vodka prices from January 1 due to higher excise duties on alcohol. This year, excise duties will be raised twice, on January 1 and July 1, and the watchdog has decided to raise minimum vodka prices already this summer. The regulator took into account the interests of all legal alcohol makers to set the upper boundary of the minimum price, including businesses working in the Russian regions which are unable to distribute their products further afield, a source in the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation told the paper. Former Prime Minister and incumbent President Vladimir Putin told a government meeting in October 2009 that large revenues from counterfeit alcohol products were feeding both corruption and crime while inferior alcohol sold by shadow vodka producers was inflicting irreparable damage on the health of Russian citizens.