Russian vodka will be stripped from liquor store shelves across the country after calls for boycotts from Australia’s Ukrainian community.
Major liquor retailers Dan Murphy’s, BWS and Cellarmasters, as well as alcohol delivery service Jimmy Brings, and hundreds of pubs under the ALH banner will take part in the boycott.
Parent company Endeavour Group made the decision to remove drinks originating from Russia in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, and demands from local Ukrainian communities.
“As an organisation, Endeavour Group is deeply concerned with the situation in Ukraine and we join the calls for peace,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“Following feedback from a variety of stakeholders, we have decided to remove products of Russian origin from our stores, hotels and online businesses in the coming days.”
The decision follows the lead of the United States, where a handful of governors ordered state-owned liquor stores to stop selling Russian-made and branded vodkas earlier this week.
In Canada, the Ontario liquor control board removed Russian made products from its more than 600 stores.
The move comes after the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations called on the federal government to expand sanctions to ban Russian products from being sold in Australia and “close the doors to Russian oligarchs”.
Co-chair Stefan Romaniw thanked Endeavour Group for the decision.
He called on Coles to do the same at Liquorland and First Choice stores.
It’s understood that in a letter to the Prime Minister, the AFUO urged Scott Morrison to close the Russian consulate in Sydney and cancel visas for Russian visitors, business people and students.
The government has introduced sanctions on a number of Russia’s major industries, banks, and on a host of individuals including oligarchs and members of parliament.
Mr Morrison has not ruled out taking further steps, saying in a statement Australia would move in lock-step with its allies.
“Australia will continue to work with … like-minded countries to impose further economic sanctions on Russia, building on the raft of travel bans and asset freezes implemented in recent days against Russia’s most influential political and military actors,” the statement said.
“The Australian government reiterates our staunch support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for the people of Ukraine.”