Over the weekend Canada began removing Russian products from stores in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Now, state governors and liquor stores are taking the same products off their shelves. People worldwide have been searching for ways to support Ukraine. One popular movement sweeping North America is the boycotting of Russian spirits.
U.S. Governors have ordered state-owned liquor stores to stop selling Russian vodka.
However, for individual stores not run by the state, such as stores in Oklahoma, it’s not that simple.
“I can stand here and say I don’t support Russia but, I’ve already paid for what I’ve got. If it was something I could send back and get my money back it’s one thing. I’d love to do that but the distributors could care less,” Terry Sterling, Captain Jack’s owner said.
According to the New York Post, Russian style vodkas make up a small portion of the U.S. vodka market as popular brands such as Gray Goose and Tito’s have no Russian affiliation.
“Most of these vodkas are from Poland. Tito’s is the number one selling vodka in Oklahoma, that’s where you should be spending your money. Grey Goose vodka is from France, Svedka behind me is from Sweden, Smirnoff is not, it has a Russian sounding name but they’re not Russian vodkas.”
While experts say this protest will not have a significant impact on Russia’s economy or the conflict, the symbolic nature still holds value.
“If nobody chooses to buy it I understand that and I will one hundred percent tell them buy Tito’s or buy something else American made first anyway.”
In addition to removing Russian vodka, some liquor store owners have begun to promote Ukrainian vodka instead to further support the country.
Jessie Klinger, OU nightly.