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February 28, 2022

Russian-made vodka no longer for sale in Pennsylvania liquor stores

The PCLB pulled the products from the shelves of its Fine Wine and & Good Spirits stores to show solidarity with Ukraine

Government PLCB
PLCB Russian vodka @PAWINESPIRITS/Facebook

Russian-made vodka will no longer be available for purchase in Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in Pennsylvania.

Russian-made vodka is no longer available for purchase in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has removed all Russian-sourced products from its Fine Wine & Good Spirits shelves and online store as a show of solidarity with Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of the country.

The revoked brands include Russian Standard and Ustianochka 80-proof vodkas, and six special order products from Russia.

"As of today, these products will no longer be sold or procured by the PLCB," Board Chairman Tim Holden said Sunday. "Given the evolving political-economic climate, it's just the right thing to do."

Vodka brands that have Russian labels but are not made in the country will still be sold. 

The decision came after Gov. Tom Wolf sent a letter Sunday to the PLCB urging it to stop selling all Russian-made products in the wake of Russia's attacks against Ukraine.

"I urge you to remove Russian-sourced products from stores and cease selling them as quickly as possible as a small show of solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine, and an expression of our collective revulsion with the unprovoked actions of the Russian state," Wolf wrote.

On Thursday, Wolf called Russia's invasion of Ukraine "unprovoked and unjustified," echoing President Joe Biden's characterization of the conflict.

New Hampshire, Utah and Ohio also have ordered government-run liquor stores to stop selling Russian-made products, according to the New York Post.

Only about 1.2% of U.S. vodka imports came from Russia in the first half of 2021, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. That accounted for $18.5 million out of $1.4 billion worth of total vodka imports in the U.S. last year.

Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces continued Monday as leaders from both countries were scheduled to meet for talks in Belarus.

Russian troops commenced a broad attack against Ukraine last Thursday, targeting locations from multiple fronts in an attempt to advance to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and take control of the country.

More than 300 civilians have been killed since the fighting began, according to the Ukrainian government. More than 500,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, the United Nations said.

Russia has begun to feel the economic impact of financial sanctions imposed by the U.S., NATO and other western nations in response to the attacks. The country's currency plunged in value Monday and its stock market had to be shut down as a result of the economic volatility. 

The sanctions have been targeted at several Russian banks, as well as oligarchs and their families who have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Export controls also have been implemented to cut off Russia's military from accessing high-tech equipment.

Germany, with help from the U.S., has temporarily halted the massive Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that connects Europe to Russia.

Live coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict is available through the Washington Post, New York Times and CNN.

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