Pernod Ricard resumes drinks exports to Russia

time:2023-06-08 23:38:53 source:The Washington Post

French drinks giant Pernod Ricard has restarted some exports of brands including Beefeater gin and Jameson whiskey to Russia.

Pernod Ricard said it had resumed limited shipments to "ensure the economic viability" of its Russian operations.

But campaigners said the move was "disgusting".

The drinks firm had to U-turn on exporting Absolut vodka to Russia last week after a backlash.

Pernod Ricard suspended exports to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, along with many Western firms.

However, when stocks began to run low at the end of 2022, it restarted limited exports of brands including Beefeater gin and Jameson whiskey.

It said: "We continue to utterly condemn the unjustifiable war and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia," adding that it stands "firmly with the people of Ukraine".

"This is not business as usual and our decisions were not taken lightly," a spokesman said.

However, it said it had resumed exports to Russia to keep its local affiliate economically viable and to avoid the risk of prosecution for "fraudulent bankruptcy" for its subsidiary and employees.

It said it also wanted to avoid "parallel markets" and counterfeiting.

But the Moral Ratings Agency, which campaigns to get firms out of Russia, said the move was "as disgusting as it is ironic to return to Russia while others are still getting out".

It said sales of Beefeater, which is distilled in London, and Jameson, which is produced in Dublin and Cork, "will be supporting the Russian economy that pays for the murder of Ukrainians".

Last week Pernod Ricard was forced to halt Absolut Vodka exports to Russia after a backlash in its home country, Sweden.

Many top Swedish bars and restaurants had pulled the drink from their shelves, and politicians condemned its export, following media reports it was being sold to Russia.

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