Russian alcohol being pulled from bars, store shelves in support of Ukraine

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Matthew Seaver
Russian Standard Vodka being removed by a store employee. (Credit: WINK News)

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is impacting liquor stores in Southwest Florida. They are removing alcohol that is made in Russia.

When most people think of vodka they think of Russia, but Russian vodka makes up just one percent of all vodka sold in the United States.

At ABC Wine and Spirits, there is vodka on the shelves but no Russian vodka. Gone is Russian Standard, or Ruskova, with the slogan ‘Russia’s best kept secret.’

Total Wine posted signs saying, “We are no longer selling any Russian-made product.”

At the Nauti Parrot in Fort Myers, the owner said being thousands of miles away, it’s hard to feel helpless. “So we decided to pull off Smirnoff and Stoli. We also are working with our food vendors right now, making sure that there’s nothing from Russia that’s coming in, or anybody from Russia benefiting from it,” said Nauti Parrot Owner Tyler Geib. “So it’s, you know, more of a symbolic gesture that we’re getting rid of these products and asking our customers to switch to Tito’s or Sky Vodka, you know, something that is more domestic.”

It may cost him some money, but Geib hopes other bar owners and customers make the switch. “We feel for the people and what they’re going through in the Ukraine, and we want to do what we can to help,” said Geib.

WINK News asked Publix if the grocery giant’s liquor stores might be pulling vodka with Russian roots but has not heard back.

According to the United States Trade Representative, Russia was the 20th largest supplier of imports to the U.S in 2019. Of those, mineral fuels topped the list, followed by precious metal and stone, iron and steel, fertilizers and inorganic chemicals.

In 2019, the U.S. imported $22.3 billion in goods from Russia. You can find more information about the United State’s trade relationship with Russia by clicking here.

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