MOSCOW—Like taking coal to Newcastle, selling vodka to Russia has aroused suspicion as an American firm is seeking to market a powdered version of the alcohol in its homeland.
U.S. company Palcohol has applied to Russian authorities for a patent for its vodka, rum and cocktail powder brews, which can be drunk after being mixed with water, Russia's Izvestiya daily reported Thursday.
Billed as "safer than liquid alcohol" on the firm's website, the company says the powdered variants of the famous drinks became legal for sale in the United States in March this year.
But Russian authorities are distinctly suspicious of powdered spirits and have ordered further analysis to be carried out before giving it the go ahead.
"We asked for an expert opinion of this so-called 'powdered alcohol' and will be ready to give a full commentary on this issue when we have received the results," said Alexander Kulikov, a spokesman for Russia's alcohol regulator.
Talking earlier this month, the deputy head of the agency Vladimir Spirin warned that it would likely be necessary to "introduce a ban on the sale of powdered alcohol", Izvestiya reported.
Russia has a long and problematic history with alcohol and the national love of vodka has taken its toll on the country's health.
In recent years, authorities have launched a campaign aimed at curbing high rates of drinking in the country, with restrictions placed on when shops can sell alcohol.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015