It all started in 1959 when then-president Dwight Eisenhower attempted to show the Russians how nice it would be to become a capitalist nation, not a communist one. The U.S. arranged the "American National Exhibition" in Moscow to showcase the best American products to the Soviets.
Then-Vice President Richard Nixon attended the exhibit, but instead of placating the Russians, things came to a head when a bitter argument about capitalism versus communism got the better of both parties. In an act of exasperation, he offered his Russian counterpart and leader of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev a bottle of Pepsi. Khrushchev took a sip of the ice-cold beverage and felt the overwhelming power of American capitalism tickle his palate.
Years later in the ’70s, the Soviets wanted to bring Pepsi to their country.But there was a problem. Soviet money was not recognized as legal tender around the world at the time. Nevertheless, the Soviets found a way to barter with Pepsi, so they agreed to exchange their vodka for bottles of Pepsi.
So, in the ultimate deal, the Soviets agreed to pay for Pepsi drinks in 1989 by exchanging part of their naval fleet. The Russians gave Pepsi 17 submarines, one frigate, one cruiser, and one destroyer for three billion dollars’ worth of Pepsi! This effectively made Pepsi the sixth largest military in the world.
The exchange became so legendary, that Pepsi’s head joked to the U.S. National Security adviser,
"We’re disarming the Soviets faster than you are!"