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Czechs Ban Liquor Exports Amid Poisonings

The Czech government has banned all hard-liquor exports in response to pressure from Brussels following a rash of deaths from adulterated alcohol.

Health Minister Leos Heger said late on September 20 that the measure would go into effect immediately and affected all beverages containing more than 20 percent alcohol.

The Czech government banned the sale of hard liquor on September 14 after sales of counterfeit Czech alcohol adulterated with methanol left 23 people dead and 30 hospitalized.

Officials in Prague say sales of strong liquor may resume at the end of next week, once a new inspection procedure is in place.

The Russian health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, meanwhile, says it may ban all hard liquor imports from the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia because of safety concerns.

Based on reporting by Interfax and dpa