HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has instructed all Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores and licensee services center to remove Russian-made products from store shelves on Sunday, Feb. 27.
Only two products stocked in stores – Russian Standard and Ustianochka 80-proof vodkas – and about a half-dozen Special Order brands come from Russia.
“As of today, these products will no longer be sold or procured by the PLCB,” Board Chairman Tim Holden said.” Given the evolving political-economic climate, it’s just the right thing to do.”
This comes after a letter was sent to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from Governor Tom Wolf. He urged the removal of Russian-sourced products from Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores in the Commonwealth.
He also wanted the owners of the stores to stop selling them as quickly as possible. Wolf stated in the letter that this would be seen as a small show of solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine.
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“I have joined with leaders across the nation and across the world in condemning these attacks and expressing support for the people of Ukraine,” Gov. Wolf said. “I appreciate the board’s efforts to quickly identify Russian-sourced products currently being sold at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores. I urge the board to take these further actions as a show of solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine, and an expression of our collective revulsion with the unprovoked actions of the Russian state.”
Chuck Moran, the executive director for the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, who is the statewide political voice for small business taverns, bars, and licensed restaurants, said the following in a statement:
The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association supports the governor in urging the PLCB to do so. This is a reasonable option for the Commonwealth to take to show its disapproval of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the damage the attack has done to world peace.
As far as our Association knows and so that we do not confuse them with “Russian-themed” vodkas, there are a few actual Russian-made vodkas sold in Pennsylvania’s stores. They include Russian Standard and Ustianochka. Russian Standard is owned by Roustam Tariko, a Russian oligarch.
With many great vodka options available, our Association is encouraging Pennsylvania’s family-owned taverns, bars, clubs, and licensed restaurants to avoid using Russian-made vodka for now. It will be a minor inconvenience for some, but national American brands like Tito’s from Texas and locally made vodkas like Holla Spirits in York are good options when mixing drinks that require vodka.Chuck Moran, PATaverns Excecutive Director
Earlier in the week, Wolf condemned the unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine.