Manitoba pulls Russian products from liquor stores in response to Ukraine invasion

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Manitoba liquor stores have pulled Russian products from their shelves as the country’s military attacks continue in Ukraine.

Of the thousands of products the stores carry, only two are affected: Russian Standard vodka and Baltika 7 Premium Lager, a single-serve beer, said the president and CEO of the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation. , Manny Atwal, in an emailed statement.

While other products on store shelves may appear to be Russian due to their name, artwork, marketing features or liquor style, they are not produced in Russia, the statement said.

Atwal says the state-owned company is aware of reports of other non-Russian products that may be owned by Russian companies, although they have not yet been pulled from shelves.

Because of the way alcohol is sourced and procured in Manitoba, the statement said, the organization does not typically obtain information about ownership structures or companies involved in the products it carries.

“Products are purchased through liquor agents who sell on behalf of producers around the world. We only receive information about products that meet federal import regulations, such as where they were made “, said Atwal.

“As a result, we have focused on products declared as Made in Russia for the time being. This may be subject to change.”

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries would also comply with any broader embargo or economic sanction put in place by the federal government, the statement said.

A provincial spokesperson confirmed by email that the products were removed at the request of the province to show support for Ukraine and show Manitoba’s opposition to the Russian invasion.

Similar action was taken Friday at liquor stores across Canada, with retailers in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island withdrawing products made in Russia from store shelves.

Manitoba politicians previously considered banning Russian vodka from liquor stores in the province in 2014, as the country moved to annex Crimea.

The Manitoba government spokesperson also noted that a rally will be held at the Manitoba Legislative Building at 5 p.m. Saturday, when the flag of Ukraine will be flown over the building.

The Ukrainian flag will also be raised Saturday in Memorial Park near the legislative building, the spokesperson said.

These gestures are in addition to the $150,000 the province is donating to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to help with humanitarian relief following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The congress and the Canada-Ukraine Foundation established the Humanitarian Aid Center to formalize a coordinated approach to providing humanitarian aid to those in need in Ukraine, the spokesperson said.

The flag has already been raised at Winnipeg City Hall, “as a result of the unprovoked and unwarranted Russian invasion,” Mayor Brian Bowman said. said on Twitter.

“Members of City Council and I are thinking of Ukrainians and the many Ukrainian-Canadians who live in Winnipeg,” Bowman said.

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