Politicians in the United States and Canada are taking steps to remove Russian products, including vodka, from store shelves as Russia continues its military offensive against Ukraine.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) took to Twitter Saturday to announce that he has signed an executive order instructing the state’s wine and liquor outlets “to begin removing Russian-made and Russian-branded spirits from our liquor and wine outlets until further notice.”
This morning I signed an Executive Order instructing @nhliquorwine outlets to begin removing Russian-made and Russian-branded spirits from our liquor and wine outlets until further notice.
New Hampshire stands with the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom. 🇺
— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) February 26, 2022
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) also tweeted he has directed the Ohio Department “to cease both the purchase & sale of all vodka made by Russian Standard.”
.@OhioLiquor estimates that there are approximately 6,400 bottles of vodka made by Russian Standard currently for sale in Ohio's 487 liquor agencies across the state. Retailers have been asked to immediately pull Green Mark Vodka and Russian Standard Vodka from their shelves.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) February 26, 2022
In a tweet, Saturday, Texas Governor Greg Abbot (R) “asked the members of the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Package Stores Association & all Texas retailers to voluntarily remove all Russian products from their shelves.”
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.
Texas stands with Ukraine.#StandWithUkraine
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 26, 2022
In Canada, the Ontario provincial government has instructed the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to remove all Russian-produced goods from stores, CTV reports. The LCBO is one of the biggest alcohol buyers in the world, and the move will affect its 679 stores in the province.
The outlet reports:
Premier Doug Ford said the discussion about removing Russian-made products began on Thursday, after the government noticed calls for boycotts on social media, and the LCBO received concerned comments from customers about products on store shelves.
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca also wrote a letter to LCBO President George Soleas asking him to pull several brands of Russian vodka from store shelves to show support for Ukraine.
“Any and all means of cutting off Russia’s economy should be considered. Both provincially and federally,” Del Duca said.
At least one American liquor store is pulling Russian vodka from its shelves without government direction. Jamie Stratton, a partner at Jacob Liquor Exchange in Witchita, Kansas, said that on Friday, the business removed over 100 bottles from shelves, the Kansas City Star reports.
“As a business owner, that’s not an easy decision to make, but at the end of the day it really is an easy decision,” Stratton told the outlet. “The people of Ukraine have done nothing to deserve what’s happening to them.”
He even poured out a bottle of Russian vodka in a display of symbolism.
“I’m a little bit emotional about it this morning,” he told the Kansas City Star. “It made me feel really good to pour it out.”
He is recommending customers looking for vodka buy Khor – a Ukrainian brand.