Wine, beer, champagne and cognac will be available in Soviet food stores, but the Kremlin plans to continue sharp restrictions on the sale of vodka, the Communist Party newspaper Pravda said.
The daily said Monday that the Cabinet, known as the Council of Ministers, reviewed Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's 1985 anti-alcohol campaign that raised prices and the drinking age while cutting hours of liquor stores and the production of alcoholic beverages."Dry wines, champagne, cognac and beer . . . are permitted to be sold in food stores, and it was proposed to put an end to queues that humiliate human dignity," the Pravda report said.
Muscovites say they have been able to buy champagne, expensive cognac and sometimes beer in some food stores throughout Gorbachev's campaign to restrict alcohol sales.
It was not immediately clear whether the Council of Ministers intended to increase supplies to food stores, or stock them with cheaper, more popular beverages to end the long lines of Soviets at liquor stores.
The policy governing the sale of distilled liquors, such as vodka, has not changed.