Ontario takes Russian booze off shelves

US and Canadian provinces, including Ontario, have removed all alcoholic products produced in Russia from their stores in support of Ukraine.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) said it supports the provincial and federal governments in condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Russia’s full-scale military invasion into Ukraine began on 24 February and has caused nearly 200 casualties to date.

In a statement, the LCBO said it had been ordered by the government to remove all products produced in Russia from its sales channels, including 679 LCBO stores across the province, lcbo.com and LCBO convenience outlets.

Furthermore, it said LCBO wholesale customers, grocery stores and licensees could continue to sell these products, but they would no longer be able to order them until further notice. The LCBO added that it would accept the return of any Russian-made products.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, responsible for the sale of alcohol in the Canadian province, also tweeted that it would stop selling Russian-produced products in its stores.

US states have also followed suit, including Utah, Ohio, New Hampshire and Virginia.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board said in a tweet: “In the spirit of governor [Glenn] Youngkin’s call for decisive action in support of Ukraine, Virginia ABC is removing seven Russian-sourced vodka brands from our store shelves. Russian-themed brands not produced in Russia, like Stolichnaya and Smirnoff, will not be removed.”

Vodka producer Nemiroff was forced to temporarily close its distillery because of the Russian-Ukraine war.

Luxembourg-based Amber Beverage Group has declared its support for Ukraine, donating financial resources to the charity project Stand with Ukraine.

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Author: Nicola Carruthers