State liquor panel ends sale of Russian-made products

HARRISBURG (AP) — The panel that regulates the sale of alcohol in Pennsylvania has ordered the removal of Russian-made products to show solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board took the action Sunday in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The board’s action comes as some other U.S. states have made similar moves, and bars and liquor stores have pulled Russian vodka off their shelves and promoted Ukrainian brands instead.

“Given the evolving political-economic climate, it’s just the right thing to do,” said chairman Tim Holden in a statement.

Pennsylvania’s board instructed all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and licensee service centers to remove Russian-made products. In addition, Russian-made special order products will no longer be available.

The order has limited impact because only two affected products — Russian Standard and Ustianochka 80-proof vodkas — are stocked in Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores, the board said. It also said about a half-dozen special order brands come from Russia.

Although some producers give their vodkas Russian-themed names, it will not restrict the sales of Russian-branded products that are not sourced from Russia, the panel said.

While regulating the distribution of alcoholic beverages in Pennsylvania, the board said it operates 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers.