Liqour selections

Governors of Ohio and Utah remove Russian-made vodka from liquor stores

Two Republican governors have asked their states to remove Russian vodka from shelves in solidarity with Ukraine.

Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox has ordered the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to immediately remove all Russian-made and Russian-branded products from its shelves.

“Russia’s ruthless attack on a sovereign nation is a gross violation of human rights,” Mr Cox said over the weekend. “Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine and will not support Russian companies, no matter the size of the exchange.”

Ohio Governor Mike Dewine has asked the state Department of Commerce to stop buying and selling vodka made by Russian Standard.

Mr. DeWine called it “the only overseas Russian distillery with vodka sold in Ohio.” It is sold under the Green Mark Vodka and Russian Standard Vodka brands.

He estimated that there were 6,400 bottles of vodka made by Russian Standard on sale at Ohio’s 487 liquor stores.

“Retailers have been urged to immediately remove Green Mark Vodka and Russian Standard Vodka from their shelves,” DeWine tweeted.

Officials in Ontario, Canada, have taken similar action, and a store in Wichita, Kansas is replacing Russian selections with Ukrainian selections. The owners told KSNW in Kansas they poured out some of the Russian product and removed the rest of the bottles to a back room, meaning customers would have to specially request the products, which won’t be on display.

“I think the whole world now knows that Russia is at war with Ukraine for no apparent reason,” Jamie Stratton, partner and director of wine at the Jacob Liquor Exchange, told the station. “I guess that’s our punishment. We do not support it. There is no reason to support it. There is no reason for them to invade Ukrainians, and it may be small, but every little thing makes a difference.

Efforts to phase out Russian alcohol are largely a symbolic show of solidarity with the far graver economic consequences the West is imposing on Russia for invading its neighbor.

The United States and Europe expelled a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT banking system on Saturday, cutting Russia off from a swath of international financial transactions in the toughest sanction imposed so far for its invasion from Ukraine. The nations have also imposed major restrictions on Russia’s central bank.

Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.