Mar 1, 2022 - Business

North Carolina cracks down on Russian-made goods

ABC store

Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

You’ll no longer be able to find Russian-made vodka in North Carolina liquor stores.

What’s happening: Gov. Cooper on Monday signed an executive order directing state government agencies to review all existing contracts and operations and “to terminate any agreements or operations that directly benefit Russian entities.”

  • This includes the sale of Russian alcohol at state ABC stores. Three Russian alcohol brands – Hammer & Sickle, Beluga, and Russian Standard – would be subject to this Executive Order, according to Cooper’s office.
  • The order is effective immediately.

Why it matters: North Carolina’s decision is the latest in a growing boycott of Russian-made goods following Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last week.

In a statement, Cooper called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “an attack on a free people.”

“This order sends a strong message and helps ensure no public dollars or operations from North Carolina will benefit Russia and its unjustified aggression,” Cooper said.

“Our state stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine as they fight courageously against a tyrant to defend their country, their democracy and their freedom,” he added.

Go deeper: The latest on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

The impact: Following the governor’s order, the state ABC Commission said that it has suspended the availability of liquor in North Carolina that were produced by Russian entities.

Between the lines: Cooper is also directing the Department of Administration, Division of Purchase & Contract “to terminate any such contracts with Russian entities as quickly as practicable if they are identified.”

  • The governor is encouraging other state entities and local governments to adopt similar policies to ensure public dollars do not benefit Russia.

Over the weekend, Guilford County N.C. Sen. Michael Garrett called for a suspension of Russian vodka at state ABC stores.

“While this action may seem small and symbolic, I believe it demonstrates the people of North Carolina stand with the people of Ukraine, and are united in our opposition to the malicious and unprovoked Russian invasion of their homeland,” Garrett tweeted.

Already, private businesses across the region have been announcing plans to remove Russian-made products from their shelves.

  • Total Wine, which operates four stores in the Charlotte area, has removed Russian-made products from its shelves, the company said on Instagram.
  • Southern Spirits liquor in Indian Land also pulled Russian brands from its shelves. The liquor retailer is now doing “a booming business” in Ukrainian vodka, as the AP reported.

Yes, but: Experts say a boycott of Russian goods is unlikely to cause further damage to Russia’s economy — or to sway Putin, as NPR reported.


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