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March 1, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 1:26pm

West Auckland Trusts bans Russian vodka amid Ukraine invasion

Several businesses in other countries, including Canada, the US and Australia, have removed Russian products from their stores.

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The West Auckland Trusts, an alcohol retail chain in New Zealand, has removed Russian products from its store shelves in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The chain has pledged to stop selling several Russian-made vodkas and beers and has banned several Russian brands, including Ivanov, Russian Standard, Russkaya, Kristov Red vodkas and Gorkovskaya Vodka.

Several other products, including JJ Whitley Rhubarb Vodka, Royal Bison Vodka, Russkaya Vodka, Baltika Beer and Three Hills Pale Ale beer, have also been removed from the retailer’s store shelves.

The West Auckland Trusts said that the move follows Russia raising its nuclear alert level, together with an increasing groundswell of consumer sentiment.

The retailer, which sells thousands of bottles of Russian made liquor a year, will display the Ukrainian flag in empty shelf spaces left by Russian products.

The West Auckland Trusts CEO Allan Pollard said: “Vodka is Russia’s most high profile export product and our actions today are designed to show our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

“While New Zealand is a comparatively small market individually, joining our counterparts in other countries around the world in boycotting the sale of these products is a statement of solidarity for the Ukrainian people.”

The West Auckland Trusts owns a total of 26 retail stores and hospitality destinations throughout the region.

Other businesses around the world, including in Canada, the US and Australia, have implemented similar measures to show support for Ukraine.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has ordered Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centres in Pennsylvania to remove all Russian-made products from their shelves.

The PLCB also said that there are no Special Order products made in Russia currently available in the state.

It will not, however, object to Russian-branded products that are not imported directly from Russia.