Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed a ban on the state purchase of imported condoms on Tuesday.
The Russian newspaper Gazeta reports that the condom ban could be an attempt to alleviate Russia’s increasing demographic crisis. Russia’s fertility rate has been steadily declining since the 1990’s. The crisis is compounded by the popularity of abortions, a fixture of both Soviet and contemporary Russian life.
Elena Nevolina, deputy head of Russia’s pharmaceutical guild, said that the ban could lead to an increase in birth rates because of the poor quality of Russian condoms. "Condoms have always been in demand in our country, and buyers have always preferred imported goods." Nevolina said.
Yesenia Shamonin, director of Russia’s largest wholesale supplier of contraceptives, said that there is no popular Russian-made brand of condoms. She added that even the Russian-language "Gusarskie" condoms are made abroad.
Shamonin expressed hope that the Trade Ministry’s proposal would not pass preliminary discussion.
"It’s one thing when you eat something that is bad for your health while there is a ban on imported food products. But when people realize they are using goods that are poorer quality than those that are imported – when they realize that kids, AIDS, and more can appear as a result of the ban…then people will really begin to fear all of this," Shamonin said.
Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, all members of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, were excluded from the ban.
Published under: Russia