Massachusetts lawmakers ban Russian products, some stores pull vodka from shelves – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The liquor industry is grappling with calls to boycott Russian vodka. “There are so many other choices right now with vodka,” said Ercole Urbaldino, owner of Route 9 Wine and Spirits. He said sales of Russian vodka were so low that he stopped stocking it even before Russia invaded Ukraine. He supports New Hampshire removing Russian brands from the shelves of state liquor stores.

Total Wine & More, which is based in Maryland, did the same in its Massachusetts stores. “We no longer sell any products made in Russia,” says a sign in Natick’s vodka department.

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The Massachusetts Package Store Association says boycotting alcohol made in Russia might be symbolic, but wouldn’t have any real impact, because Massachusetts doesn’t consume much Russian vodka.

At the State House, we strive to make a statement. “This shows the world that the people of Massachusetts do not support, invest in, or condone Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Massachusetts State Representative Patrick Kearney, who proposed a bill to solve the problem. “The bill would prevent any sale or consumption of any Russian product here in Massachusetts,” he said.

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Massachusetts legislative leaders say they are checking whether Massachusetts has contracts involving Russia. Governor Charlie Baker worries about a total ban. “I share the concern about the closure of a Russian immigrant family who have been here in Massachusetts for years and who run a business that may have some kind of Russian overtones,” he said.

The Massachusetts Package Store Association has shared a Russian liquor list for those interested in the boycott. A spokesperson said Stoli was from Latvia, not Russia.

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Russian standard vodka,
Beluga Noble Russian Vodka,
Russian Standard Platinum Vodka,
Baikal Vodka and
Baltica (Beer)
Nevskoe Imperial (Beer)
Ochakovo (beer)
Starka (whiskey)
Samogon (Russian Moonshine)
Polugar (Russian gin)
Kuban-Vino (Wine)
Abrau-Durso (Sparkling Wine)

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