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Uzbek Shops Rationing Coca-Cola Amid Shortage

Many shops in Uzbekistan have begun rationing Coca-Cola amid a shortage of the beverage and unseasonably hot temperatures.

Many local shops in Tashkent were refusing to sell more than a single, one-liter bottle of Coca-Cola to each customer. Some shops had stopped selling the drink altogether.

A manager at Coca-Cola's Ichimligi Uzbekiston Company told RFE/RL that the bottling of Coca-Cola had been suspended as the firm's production lines have been undergoing reconstruction for about a month.

Retailers in Tashkent say the Coca-Cola producer has started asking a price that is nearly 60 percent higher than before the reconstruction began.

Some complained that Coca-Cola's Uzbekistan branch was forcing retailers to also buy Bonaqua mineral water and bottled ice tea in order to receive deliveries of Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola has been produced in Uzbekistan since 1993.