Exclusive: Wetherspoons pubs to immediately drop Russian Baltika lager after invasion of Ukraine - but will continue to sell Smirnoff and Absolut vodka

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WETHERSPOONS will stop Russian brand of beer in all of its pubs with ‘immediate effect’ following the invasion of Ukraine.

The popular pub chain, which has a number of pubs across the Portsmouth area including Isambard Kingdom Brunel, John Jacques and Sir Alec Rose, will be dropping Baltika lager today.

It comes as Russia continues to face strong sanctions following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to order his army into Ukraine on February 24.

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Wetherspoons confirmed to The News that the ‘only’ Russian product its pubs currently sells is Baltika lager.

Wetherspoons. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)Wetherspoons. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)
Wetherspoons. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

A spokesman said: ‘With immediate effect Baltika lager is being withdrawn from all Wetherspoon pubs.’

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Prior to the invasion, Wetherspoons had made the decision not to reorder any more Stolichnaya vodka, which originated in the Soviet union but is now based out of Latvia, as part of a shake up of its drinks menu.

The Stoli vodka brands and its owner Yuri Shefler were exiled from Russia nearly two decades ago.

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Mr Shefler said: ‘As the founder of SPI Group of companies, I have personally experienced persecution by the Russian authorities and I share the pain of Ukraine and its people.’

A Wetherspoons spokesman added: ‘Pubs will still be able to order the product if they wish but as part of the planning for our new drinks menu launched today, they will no longer be required to stock it.’

Smirnoff Vodka will still be available in Spoons pubs in Portsmouth.

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It is owned by Diageo and is produced in Scotland. It has no links with Russia.

Aboslut, which is made in Sweden, will also continue to be available.

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