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Foreign Condoms Could Be The Next Target Of Russia's War On Imports

"Real patriots love the Motherland without a condom."

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Russia may restrict the procurement of imported condoms for "state and municipal needs," according to documents posted on a government website Tuesday.

Mikhail Metzel / ASSOCIATED PRESS

A protest poster depicts Russian President Vladimir Putin wearing a condom on his head during a December 2011 demonstration against alleged vote rigging in the country's parliamentary elections.

The proposed change would add condoms to a list first published in February of foreign-made medical supplies that the government was restricted from purchasing.

The proposal is designed to bolster Russian industry and comes at the height of a political push to promote Russian products over Western imports. Authorities are cracking down on sanctioned food imports like Italian and Spanish meat and French cheese.

Though the new proposal only concerns government purchases and would not prevent stores from selling foreign brands like Durex and Trojan to the public, comments by Gennady Onishchenko, an aide to Russia's prime minister and a former public health official, seemed to imply otherwise.

"Rubber goods (condoms) have no relation to health, it will just force people to be more disciplined, more strict and selective in their choice of partners, and maybe it will be of some service to society in terms of solving demographic problems," Onishchenko said in comments carried by RIA Novosti.

Russian Twitter seized on the news, with many interpreting the measure as a total ban on imported condoms.

"It's a shame Onishchenko's father didn't have a condom!"

Жаль не нашлось презерватива у отца Онищенко!

"Real patriots love the Motherland without a condom."

Настоящие патриоты любят родину без презерватива.

"The Russian import-substitution industry is working on making condoms that smell like jamón and parmesan."

Импортозамещение-промышленность РФ работает над выпуском презервативов с запахами хамона и пармезана.

Some played on the fact that one Russian word for condom is also slang for "asshole": "Russia is banning foreign condoms, because it has enough of its own."

Россия запретит иностранные презервативы, потому что и своих гондонов достаточно:

There were jokes about the quality of Soviet condoms: "I've been saving this condom since the Festival of Youth and Students in 1985. Bury me in it. For Putin, For United Russia."

Я хранил этот презерватив с 1985, Фестиваля молодежи и студентов. похороните меня в нем. За Путина, за Единую Россию.

And Soviet-style rationing: "Condoms should be given out under a doctor's prescription. Or on a voucher system, for example. And they could give the vouchers out at work, if you explain at a staff meeting what they're for."

Презервативы надо по рецепту врача выдавать. Или по талонам, например. А талоны выдавать на работе. Если обоснуешь на собрании зачем нужны.

Some people got serious, questioning the wisdom of restricting condom imports when Russia's HIV epidemic is getting worse.

"A country in a leading position in terms of growth of HIV infection is banning the import of condoms. Russia is ruled by enemies of Russia, exactly!"

Страна, занимающая лидирующее положение по приросту ВИЧ-инфицированных, запрещает ввоз презервативов. Россией управляют враги России, точно!

Others pointed out that the government was considering limiting the procurement of many other kinds of imported medical supplies and equipment besides condoms.

"Condoms, fine, but banning the import of machines that help newborns breathe is already some kind of biblical evil."

Ладно презервативы, но запретить ввоз аппаратов поддержки дыхания новорожденных это уже библейское зло какое-то

"In that list along with condoms there's equipment for maternity homes and dental clinics — and that's what's totally fucked up"

Там в этом списке вместе с презервативами еще оборудование для роддомов и стоматологических клиник — а вот это уже полный пиздец

Officials clarified that more than 98% of Russia's condom market would be unaffected by the proposed rule.

Gennady Onishchenko is an aide to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. An earlier version of this post said he was an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Susie Armitage is the Global Managing Editor and is based in New York.

Contact Susie Armitage at susie.armitage@buzzfeed.com.

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