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Virginia ABC stores pulling Russian vodka from shelves in support of Ukraine

The agency says it’s a show of support for Ukraine, after Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s call to action against the Russian invasion.

Virginia ABC is removing Russian sourced vodka from store shelves. 

The agency says the move is a show of support for Ukraine, after Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s call to action against the Russian invasion.

RELATED: Virginia's Governor calls for 'decisive action' against Russian attack, including end to Norfolk sister city relationship

In a social media post Sunday, the agency identified seven brands that will be removed from store shelves. Those brands are: Beluga, Hammer & Sickle, Inperia, Mamont, Organika, Russian Standard, and ZYR. 

Other Russian themed products, including Stolichnaya and Smirnoff, will not be impacted because they are not produced in Russia, according to the agency. 

It’s getting support from both sides of the political aisle. 

“We have a lot of distilleries in Virginia, so we can sell our own vodka. We don't need Russia’s vodka," said Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). 

Lucas, the president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate, said she supports the decision by Virginia ABC to remove the alcohol. The move came after she asked Youngkin on Twitter to order Russian products be pulled from Virginia ABC stores immediately.  

RELATED: FedEx stops all shipments to Russia amid ongoing invasion in Ukraine

“But the point is we need to stand in solitary with Ukraine by saying that we will refuse to sell any products that are manufactured or distilled by Russia," Lucas told 13NewsNow Sunday.

On Saturday, Youngkin called for "decisive actions" against Russia as a show of support for Ukraine. That included a review of Virginia contracts to determine if any tax dollars are spent on goods and services from Russian companies. 

In the spirit of Gov. Youngkin’s call for decisive action in support of Ukraine, Virginia ABC is removing...

Posted by Virginia ABC on Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Virginia ABC spokesperson say the agency's decision is "in the spirit" of the Governor's call to action.  

“We sent out the appropriate correspondence with all of our 396 stores to remove the seven products from our store shelves," said Virginia ABC Public Relations Manager Carol Mawyer. 

RELATED: Some bars and even state governors are pouring Russian vodka down the drain

Lucas said removing Russian products is just a start.

She also wants to the Commonwealth to consider the possibility of Ukrainian refugees coming to Virginia.

“I would also say that they can come to Virginia, and I’m sure that we will have to do some things to try to get them prepared to take some residence up in Virginia. But I certainly support that," said Lucas. 

Virginia ABC representatives did not share a timeline for when they will resume sale of Russian vodkas.

Governor Youngkin also asked for an end to any sister city partnerships in Virginia. Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander is now pushing for an end to the city's 30-year-year relationship with Kaliningrad, Russia.

Freedom and self-determination are ingrained in Norfolk’s spirit, and we stand in support of a free and independent...

Posted by Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander on Sunday, February 27, 2022

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