In 1959, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was pretty happy with how things went in the States. So he wanted to give his communist peers a taste of the American way and show them how great capitalism was.
So the Eisenhower administration organized the American National Exhibition in Moscow and sent none other than Vice President Richard Nixon to attend the opening and enthuse about the American way of life.
Whilst Nixon was there, showing off electric potato peelers and the other wonders of Western capitalism and consumerism, he got into a discussion with then-Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War.
The discussion turned into a debate… which got heated… and blew up into a full-blown argument. Nixon and Khrushchev were both trying to convince each other that their way of life was the best. It was straight-up capitalism vs communism argument between two of the biggest players for each side.
Pepsi Vice President held out a cup of Pepsi to calm down the Soviet Premier. Much to the surprise of everyone, he accepted the cup and drank it. And to the even bigger surprise of everyone, he loved it! The USSR struck a deal with Pepsi where they would trade vodka in place of currency.
The deal continued until the late 1980s. The Soviet Ruble wasn’t a currency that was accepted worldwide, so Khrushchev used vodka as a barter proxy for currency.
After the USSR’s initial agreement with Pepsi had expired, Pepsi was no longer in the market for upselling premium Russian vodka. The USSR traded Pepsi for a fleet of war machines worth USD 3 billion.
Pepsi has become the sixth-largest military power in the world thanks to a deal with Sweden. The drinks company exchanged 17 submarines, a destroyer, a frigate, and a gigantic cruiser.
They sold the fleet off at face value to a Swedish scrap metal company for $2.5 billion. The deal saw Pepsi go from a fizzy drinks company to the sixth biggest military in the globe.
Qamar Kazmi is a content writer who previously has worked in numerous semi-government and private sector organizations as a business development resource. He is focused on the subjects not usually covered in conventional news and discussions. He is specialized in explaining events from his own perspective and point of view.