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The picketers said multinational companies were controlling over 90% of the Russian tobacco market and the Russian budget was losing about 500 billion roubles annually from low excise duties on tobacco.
Roman Plyuta, head of the Orthodox Union public organisation that set up a picket in front of the Philip Morris Kuban factory in the southern city of Krasnodar, told ITAR-TASS that transnational corporations “make cigarettes of such quality that they would never be allowed in the United States or other Western countries”.
Plyuta believes that Western manufacturers add special ingredients to the cigarettes to develop strong addiction to them even after a short period of smoking.
Picketers in another Russian city, Saratov, on the Volga were demanding that the BAT-STF tobacco factory owned by British American Tobacco be relocated beyond the city boundaries.