Co-op Becomes First UK Supermarket To Remove Russian Vodka From Sale
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Co-op has become the first UK supermarket to remove Russian vodka from shelves for the 'foreseeable future' following the invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Standard vodka was brought to market in 1998 by billionaire Roustam Tariko, and is one of the best-selling vodkas in the UK.
Co-op said that because Russian Standard is ‘overtly Russian’ and produced in the country they will no longer stock it online or in stores.
A spokesperson for the chain said: “In response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces and as a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we have taken the decision to remove from sale Russian-made vodka.
“Russian Standard has been taken off sale with immediate effect because it is overtly marketed as being Russian and produced there.
“It will not be stocked for the foreseeable future."
They added: “Our members and customers will also be able to support the humanitarian response to help those displaced by the conflict by donating at our stores to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal.
“The appeal will launch across our 2,600 stores today (Thursday 3 March 2022) and we’ll be match funding our customers donations up to £100,000.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who oppose this invasion.”
Russian Standard vodka, which had been priced at £14.00 for a 70cl bottle, has already been removed from the Co-op website.
The Co-op’s decision to remove Russian Standard is just the latest in a number of product removals taken by UK businesses.
Pub chain Wetherspoon has also decided to remove Russian-made Baltika Lager from sale in solidarity with Ukraine.
The decision, which was announced yesterday, will see bottles of the St Peterburg-brewed beer taken out of all 870+ Wetherspoon pubs around the UK.
A spokesperson said: "In light of the situation in Ukraine we just felt that we could not stock it anymore.
"As of today all those beers won't be available in any Wetherspoons pub and either have been or are in the process of being returned to the Carlsberg distributor.
"We are not implying in any way that anyone involved with the brewery is directly involved with what's going on but we thought in light of the current situation our pubs don't want to be serving Russian beers."
Baltika is distributed in the UK by Carlsberg, who are also responsible for the distribution of popular brands such as Heineken and Carlsberg.
Those beers will remain available, whilst the bottles of Baltika will be returned to the Carlsberg.
Baltika was the only Russian product stocked in Wetherspoon pubs.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Ukraine, Russia, Food And Drink, World News