Some stores in the United States and Canada will not be selling Russian-made liquor for the time being, as a response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed an executive order on Saturday instructing all New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlet locations ― state-run liquor stores that sell alcohol tax-free ― to “begin removing Russian-made and Russian-branded spirits.”
“New Hampshire stands with the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom,” he added.
Also on Saturday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) ordered the state’s commerce department to “cease both the purchase & sale” of Russian Standard Vodka, which he said is “the only overseas, Russian-owned distillery with vodka sold in Ohio.”
Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas (D) called for her state to take similar action.
In Canada, the government of Ontario ordered the province’s Liquor Control Board to remove all Russian products from its 679 stores, Reuters reported. And the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation announced Friday it had “made the decision to remove products of Russian origin from its shelves,” mentioning “Russian Standard Vodka and Russian Standard Platinum Vodka” in particular.
Some privately owned liquor stores are also pausing the sale of Russian products. One store manager in Wichita, Kansas, told The Hill that he viewed taking Russian vodka off the shelves as a “tiny sanction.”
Others in the food and beverage industries have reacted in different ways. One one Quebec restaurant raised some eyebrows when it announced in a since-deleted post that it would be removing the word “poutine” from the menu in solidarity with Ukraine. Though the Russian president’s name is indeed written as “Vladimir Poutine” in French, he has no connection to the regional dish that consists of French fries, gravy and cheese curds.
On Saturday, the assault on Ukraine continued for a third day, with Russian troops closing in on Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy had posted multiple defiant videos indicating he was remaining in the capital to fight. In Russia, Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine has been met with massive anti-war protests, in which demonstrators risked arrest and harsh penalties.