Politicians in America and Canada are ceasing imports of Russian spirits, and liquor stores and bars are throwing out the spirit from their shelves.

Source: Jamie White

Liquor stores and bars in the U.S. and Canada are throwing out their Russian vodka in protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

Vodka, one of Russia’s most famous exports, has become a target of politicians and civilians alike who want to show their solidarity for Ukraine.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called on liquor stores in the state to remove Russian vodka from their stock.

“I’ve asked the members of the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Package Stores Association & all Texas retailers to voluntarily remove all Russian products from their shelves,” he tweeted Saturday.

The owner of Pine Tavern in Bend, Oregon recorded himself pouring out hundreds of dollars of Stolichnaya vodka to protest Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine.

Magic Mountain Ski Resort in Londonberry, Vermont followed suit, tweeting, “Sorry Stoli lovers. No more.”

A liquor store in Wichita, Kansas also decided to remove all Russian vodka from its shelves.

“I think the whole world knows by now that Russia’s at war with Ukraine for no apparent reason,” Jamie Stratton, wine director and partner of the store, told KSNW-TV. “I guess this is our sanction…and this may be small, but every small thing makes a difference.”

“If a customer requests these items, obviously we’re here to sell. That’s what we do,” Stratton added. “But I’m not going to put it on the shelves. There’s no reason for it to be here. We’re not supporting them.”

The Stoli Group, producer of the famous Soviet-era Stolichnaya vodka, reached out to Stratton to explain that its company is a “global” brand, with its headquarters in Luxembourg and its bottling facilities in Latvia.

“With regard to us being Russian. We are absolutely NOT a Russian company,” Damian McKinney, Stoli Group global CEO, said in a letter to Stratton. “We are a global organization with a significant portfolio of spirits and wine brands from around the world, with Stoli’s European Global HQ based in Luxembourg. Stoli Premium and Elit are manufactured and bottled in Riga, Latvia.”

Southern Spirits in Fort Mill, South Carolina announced they will no longer display Russian spirits “at this time” and will instead promote Ukraine’s Kozak vodka.

In Canada, Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy directed the provincial Liquor Control Board to have stores remove all Russian vodka and liquor products on Saturday.

“Ontario joins Canada’s allies in condemning the Russian government’s act of aggression against the Ukrainian people and we strongly support the federal government’s efforts to sanction the Russian government,” Bethlenfalvy said. “We will continue to be there for the Ukrainian people during this extremely difficult time.”

Likewise, British Columbia is ceasing imports on Russian alcohol, Deputy Premier Mike Farnworth announced.