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Several states restrict Russian vodka sales in solidarity with Ukraine

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Several U.S. states have moved to remove Russian vodka from bars and store shelves as Moscow continues its full-scale military assault on Ukraine. 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) directed his state’s department of commerce “to cease both the purchase & sale of all vodka made by Russian Standard, the only overseas, Russian-owned distillery with vodka sold in Ohio.”

He added that some 6,400 bottles of vodka labelled Green Mark or Russian Standard were currently for sale in Ohio’s 487 liquor agencies.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed an even broader order on Saturday “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,” Sununu wrote. 

The same day, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) also issued an executive order restricting Russian-made products.

“Russia’s ruthless attack on a sovereign nation is an egregious violation of human rights. Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine and will not support Russian enterprises, no matter how small the exchange,” the governor said in a statement.

Also on Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) asked retailers in his state to remove Russian products from stores shelves saying “Texas stands with Ukraine.”

And Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority said on Sunday that it was removing seven Russian-sourced vodka brands from store shelves, adding “Russian-themed brands not produced in Russia like Stolichnaya and Smirnoff will not be removed.”

Elsewhere in the country, individual stores and bars have opted to ditch Russian products, including the Jacob Liquor Exchange in Kansas, which referred to the move as a “tiny sanction.”

Meanwhile, a ski resort in Vermont tweeted a video of a bartender pouring Stoli down the drain along with a Ukrainian and U.S. flag and said, “Sorry @Stoli lovers. No more.” 

But CNN has reported that the bans across the country are largely symbolic, seeing as Stoli Vodka, for example, is made in Latvia, and the company is headquartered in Luxembourg.

The Stoli Group told CNN it “unequivocally condemns the military action in Ukraine and stands ready to support the Ukrainian people, our teams and partners.”

Updated: 9:26 p.m.

Tags Chris Sununu Greg Abbott Mike DeWine

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