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Co-op removes Russian vodka from its shelves in solidarity with Ukraine

Co-op Food has removed Russian-made vodka from its shelves following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The supermarket said all products made by Russian Standard Vodka had been taken off sale “with immediate effect” because the brand is “overtly marketed as being Russian” and is produced in Russia.

“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,” a spokesperson said.

“Russian Standard has been taken off sale with immediate effect because it is overtly marketed as being Russian and produced there. It will not be stocked for the foreseeable future.”

Co-op said it would replace Russian Standard Vodka with a Polish distilled alternative.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who oppose this invasion,” the spokesperson said, adding that the grocer has launched a Disasters Emergency Committee fundraiser to help displaced Ukrainians.

The appeal will launch across Co-op’s 2,600 stores on Friday, with the supermarket matching all customer donations up to £100,000.

Russian Standard Vodka, which is distilled in St Petersburg, will also no longer appear in Morrisons stores, according to Reuters.

The product is no longer listed on the supermarket’s website.

Some UK bars and hospitality firms have also stopped the sale of Russian vodka due to the war. This includes Nightcap Group, which runs the popular London venue Barrio Bar.

The news comes as many of the world’s largest companies have announced that they will no longer do business in Russia in the past week.

On Thursday, Marks & Spencer said it has suspended shipments to Russia “given the unfolding humanitarian crisis” in Ukraine.

The retailer has more than 40 stores in the country, which are operated by Turkish franchise partners.

The fashion industry has followed suit. On Wednesday, online retailer Asos announced that it has ceased trading in Russia.

A spokesperson for the fast-fashion brand told The Independent: “Asos’ priority is the safety of its colleagues and partners in Ukraine and Russia.

“Against the backdrop of the continuing war, Asos has decided that it is neither practical nor right to continue to trade in Russia, and has, therefore, today suspended our operations there.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and all those affected in the region.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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