Morrisons and Co-op remove Russian vodka brand from sale in ‘solidarity’ with Ukraine

UK supermarkets Morrisons and Co-op have removed a Russian brand of vodka from sale in any of their stores and across their website, as a sign of “solidarity with the people of Ukraine”.

The move comes one week after Russia invaded Ukraine, which has seen capital city Kyiv endure heavy shelling and on the same day that the strategic city of Kherson has reportedly been captured by Russia.

One of the best-selling vodkas in the country, Russian Standard is distilled in St Petersburg and was brought to the UK market in 1998. The drink had been on sale at the Co-op for £14 for a 70cl bottle, but has already been removed from the retailer’s website and will no longer appear on its shelves.

Big 4 grocer Morrisons also announced it will no longer be selling Russian-made vodka as a result of the invasion of Ukraine, with the grocer de-listing Russian Standard vodka. However, it did not specify when this move will be implemented.

The decision was taken by the Co-op due the alcoholic drink being “overtly marketed as being Russian” and being produced there. It will not return for “the foreseeable future” and a Polish distilled alternative will be sold in its place, the symbol group retailer revealed.

READ MORE: How are UK grocers supporting Ukraine refugees?

A Co-op spokesperson said: “In response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces and as a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we have taken the decision to remove from sale Russian-made vodka.

“Russian Standard has been taken off sale with immediate effect because it is overtly marketed as being Russian and produced there.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who oppose this invasion.”

The move comes as Morrisons revealed its “shock” and “sadness” watching the events unfold in Ukraine, and announced it is donating £250,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Appeal.

Customers will also be able to support the humanitarian response by donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal at all 2,600 Co-op stores across the country. Co-op will be match funding customers’ donations up to the value of £100,000.

The retailers’ decision to remove Russian Standard is just the latest in a number of moves made by UK retailers to show solidarity as the invasion continues.

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