GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A North Carolina state senator from Greensboro is called on the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board to ban Russian-made vodkas in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
On Saturday, NC Sen. Michael Garrett penned a letter to the commissioners of the ABC board urging action “as soon as is practicable.” Garret is a democrat representing District 27, which includes parts of Greensboro and Guilford County.
“Like many other North Carolinians, I have been completely appalled by the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine currently underway at the hands of the Russian military,” Garrett said. “I have been searching for ways that our state government may take a stand against this egregious Russian aggression.”
He goes on to explain that vodka is among the most prominent Russian exports and says the board has the power to lay down a ban “indefinitely.”
Garrett added that the board should take special care to make sure that particularly American-made and North Carolina-made vodkas are not included in the ban.
“While this move may seem small and symbolic, I believe that stopping the sale of Russian-made vodka in North Carolina will show the world where the residents of our state stand when it comes to the outrageous and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” Garrett said.
In a post on Twitter, the state senator says the idea came from several of his constituents.
Some of the most well-known vodka brands from Russia include Russian Standard, Beluga, Zyr and Jewel of Russia.
Many of the best-selling vodkas in the United States, however, are not from Russia. For example, hailing from the United States are popular brands Fifth Generation (Tito’s Handmade Vodka), Heaven Hill (Burnett’s Vodka), E & J Gallo Winery (New Amsterdam) and Beam Suntory (Pinnacle).
Grey Goose is produced in France but owned by Bermuda-based Bacardi Limited.
Ketel One is made by Nolet Distillery in the Netherlands.
Both Absolut, owned by The Absolut Company, and Svedka, owned by New York-based Constellation Brands, are Swedish.
Campari Group, based in Italy, owns SKYY vodka which is manufactured in the U.S.
Smirnoff, while originally created in Russia, is produced by Diageo, a British-owned company, and made in the United States.
According to Statista, none of the top 10 leading vodka brands in the U.S. for 2020, based on volume sales, were from Russia.
Read the full letter from NC Sen. Michael Garrett below:
Dear Commissioners of the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Board,
Like many other North Carolinians, I have been completely appalled by the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine currently underway at the hands of the Russian military. I have been searching for ways that our state government may take a stand against this egregious Russian aggression.
One of the most prominent Russian-made exports that Americans encounter is vodka. As Commissioners of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, you have the power to stop sales and further wholesale purchase of Russian-made vodka indefinitely. I urge you to do this as soon as is practicable. Please take special care to ensure non-Russian vodka, especially those made in North Carolina and this country, are not banned.
While this move may seem small and symbolic, I believe that stopping the sale of Russian-made vodka in North Carolina will show the world where the residents of our state stand when it comes to the outrageous and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine
Thank you for your service,
Michael K. Garrett
NC Senator – District 27