Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Reason Magazine (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Why Are You Boycotting American Vodka To Punish Russia?

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has decided to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine by ordering the removal of Russian-branded liquor from state-run liquor stores. Governors of Ohio, Utah, and Pennsylvania have also ordered Russian liquors off the shelves. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott asked Texas restaurants and shops to stop selling Russian goods.

It’s a weirdly authoritarian response, especially against the retro-socialist background of having state-run liquor stores in the first place. It also isn’t going to accomplish what these governors think, unless their only goal is to look like they’re doing something, because the economic harms will fall on people completely outside Russia’s borders.

Let’s start with the obvious: The booze you’re removing is already here. To the extent that the profits go back to Mother Russia, that’s already happened. Russia loses zero rubles when you take the vodka you already paid for and hide it in the stockroom for a few months.

But there’s a bigger issue: “Russian” vodka often isn’t actually from Russia at all.

We went through all of this back in 2013, when Russia’s parliament passed an anti-gay law and LGBT activists responded with a boycott of what they thought was Russian vodka. There was a logo and everything. The primary target was Stolichnaya Vodka, one of the more popular brands.

Yet the Stoli that gets imported to the United States is not Russian at all. It’s made in Latvia, and the company that manufactures it is based in Luxembourg. Stoli, furthermore, had developed strong ties to the LGBT community and even financially backed community projects. The law was awful, but this attempt to punish Russia for passing it did not actually hurt Russia at all—and Russia certainly hasn’t gotten any friendlier to LGBT people. But it did get some organizers a lot of media attention.

Similarly, this new boycott idea will have a negligible impact. Stoli still isn’t produced in Russia, and the company had even posted support for Ukraine solidarity on its website.

Meanwhile, imports from Russia are fairly minimal in the big scheme of things. The most recent data from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, from 2019, lists $22.3 billion in Russian imports. That may sound like a lot, but Russia’s Gross Domestic Product for 2019 was $1.6 trillion. Our imports are less than 1.5 percent of that.

And of those imports, food and liquor barely factor at all. Total agricultural and food imports from Russia that year totaled just $69 million. The top import was fuel: We imported $13 billion in mineral fuels like natural gas from Russia in 2019.

Reuters reports that only 1.2 percent of U.S. vodka imports came from Russia in the first half of 2021. Much more comes from France. Smirnoff is produced right here in the United States.

In a change from their coverage of the LGBT vodka boycott, lots of media outlets are pointing out this time that boycotting vodka does not impact Russia’s economy in any way. It may make people who are otherwise helpless over foreign policy (like state governors) feel like they’re doing something. But the economic impacts of a vodka boycott—if there are any—are going to be felt by people who aren’t connected to Putin at all, and in many cases aren’t even Russian.

So don’t pour your vodka down the drain. You’re not actually helping Ukraine by wasting your booze. You can still buy Ukrainian liquor, too!

The post Why Are You Boycotting American Vodka To Punish Russia? appeared first on


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.