Liquor stores in Canada, US refusing to sell Russian vodka

In addition to official government sanctions, bars and liquor stores across the U.S. and Canada are attempting to economically hurt Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine by refusing to sell Russian vodka and other Russian liquor.

“Ontario joins Canada’s allies in condemning the Russian government’s act of aggression against the Ukrainian people, and will direct the [Liquor Control Board of Ontario] to withdraw all products produced in Russia from store shelves,” Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy tweeted, adding, “#StandwithUkraine.”

“The people of Ontario will always stand against tyranny and oppression,” Bethlenfalvy later added.

Bethlenfalvy’s announcement came shortly after Canada’s Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) said that it would also remove Russian products.

“The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, along with other Liquor jurisdictions throughout Canada, has made the decision to remove products of Russian origin from its shelves,” NLC Liquor Store tweeted.

The corporation will no longer sell Russian Standard Vodka or Russian Standard Platinum Vodka in an effort to condemn Moscow’s recent actions.

Liquor stores and bars in the U.S. have also boycotted the sale of Russian-made liquor.

Jamie Stratton, manager of the Jacob Liquor Exchange in Wichita, Kan., told The Hill that his store removed more than 100 bottles of Russian vodka from its shelves, referring to it as a “tiny sanction.”

He also noted that the store plans to display Ukrainian vodka more prominently.

Meanwhile, a ski resort in Vermont posted a video of a bartender pouring Stoli vodka down the drain while saying, “We don’t serve Russian products here.”

“Sorry @Stoli lovers. No more,” Magic Mountain Ski Area tweeted, along with an emoji of the Ukrainian flag.

Bill McCormick, owner of Pine Tavern in Bend, Ore., also shared a video in which he pours out two bottles of Stolichnaya vodka, KPTV reported.

“Russia is acting as though its 1939 and going into Europe with a full force that they have in the Ukraine. I am so concerned about it metastasizing into other countries,” he told the outlet.

Virginia State Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D) late Saturday morning added to calls to remove Russian liquor products.

“We need to take strong actions to support Ukraine, so I am calling on @GovernorVA to order the removal of all Russian Vodka and any other Russian products from our ABC stores immediately,” she said in a tweet.

Lucas noted that the removal is supported by both Democrats and Republicans in Virginia, saying, “I’m overwhelmed with texts from my colleagues in support of this idea from both sides of the aisle.”

Lisa Conley-Kendzior contributed.

Updated: 11:57 a.m.

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