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No colas for MPs in Russia

Moscow, Sept. 18 (PTI): The Russians were sensitive to Indian MPs’ stand on Coke and Pepsi when a seven-member Lok Sabha team arrived for a meeting with its counterpart in Moscow.

The customary bottles of Coca-Cola or Pepsi were conspicuously missing on the long white ornate table in the hall of coat of arms in the Duma during the second session of the Indo-Russian Inter-Parliamentary Commission.

Generally, three bottles of soft drinks for every four persons are placed in a row on the negotiations table, including a bottle of Coca-Cola or Pepsi, which have long become a sort of national drink in post-communist Russia.

But for the meeting with the Indian MPs yesterday, only bottles of local mineral water and old Soviet brands of lemonade were served.

“We also read newspapers,” a Duma staff said by way of an explanation. The reference was to the ban on the sale of colas in the Indian Parliament.

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