In 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower wanted to convince the Soviet Union that capitalism could greatly benefit the country. If accepted, the Soviet Union would for all intents and purposes become “Americanized” and would probably have been better off. Of course, not everyone agreed with that idea. Nevertheless, Eisenhower, in an effort intended to showcase their ideologies, arranged the “American National Exhibition” in Moscow. To head up the project, they sent Vice President Richard Nixon to attend the opening. What started out as a potentially good idea, quickly took a turn for the worse when Nixon and Soviet leader Khrushchev got into an argument over the topic of capitalism versus communism. Trying to prove someone wrong in their belief system is no easy task, and the conversation quickly got so heated that the vice president of Pepsi intervened and offered the Soviet leader a cup of his delicious, sugary beverage…which he drank…and very much liked.
Most people who try sodas, like them, and most have a favorite soda that they enjoy whenever they get the opportunity. For Khrushchev and the people of the Soviet Union, this drink was very different from anything they had tasted before, and they were quickly hooked. Years later, the people of the Soviet Union wanted to strike a deal that would bring Pepsi products to their country permanently. The biggest problem, when it came to importing Pepsi to the Soviet Union, was that Soviet money was not accepted throughout the world. They would have to find something they could trade if they wanted to make this deal. So, they cleverly decided to buy Pepsi using a universal currency…vodka!
In the late 1980s, as their initial agreement to serve Pepsi in their country was about to expire, Russia wanted to renew the deal. Unfortunately for them, this time, their vodka wasn’t going to be enough to cover the cost. The question became…what now? They now had to decide just exactly how much they were willing to pay for the addiction that Pepsi really is. In a wild deal, and one that would seem insane to most of us, Russia decided that it was worth giving up a military arsenal big enough to stock a whole country. So, in order to make the deal, the Russians traded Pepsi a fleet of subs and boats for a whole lot of soda. The new agreement included 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer. Now, that is a whole lot of Pepsi’s worth. In fact, it was three billion dollars’ worth of Pepsi. So, with this historical exchange, Pepsi to become the 6th most powerful military in the world…for a moment anyway. Then, they sold the fleet to a Swedish company for scrap recycling, ending the short-lived military strength of Pepsi. To this day, some people call this a rumor.