President Biden To Ban Russian Vodka and Seafood

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has decided to follow the lead of several states and many restaurants by creating a ban against popular Russian products like vodka and seafood. The move comes in response to the continued conflict overseas between Russia and Ukraine.

What to Know

  • President Biden is banning Russia’s top product imports
  • The ban comes in response to the ongoing Ukraine conflict
  • The Kremlin claims that the U.S. is waging economic war
  • Russian products are only a small fraction of U.S. imports

How Will Biden’s Vodka and Seafood Ban Affect Russia?

On Friday, Biden announced that the U.S. would prevent Russian alcohol and seafood from entering the country, as the White House tries to increase the external pressure on Russia. While the move may heighten the punishment for the foreign nation, the move only affects a small percentage of the U.S.’s imports. Biden also requested that lawmakers take away the “preferred trading status” that Russia currently holds. This information came out during his address at the White House on Friday.

According to Bloomberg, crustaceans and fish make up roughly $1.2 billion of the U.S.’s imports in 2021. Meanwhile, the U.S. imports around $24.1 million in beverages, spirits and vinegar.

These may look like big numbers, but really, all Biden’s vodka and seafood ban adds up to is a big headache for Russian authorities. In response to Friday’s remarks, the Kremlin has even accused the U.S. and our allies of “waging economic war” on Russia.

Widespread Name Changes in the Spirit Industry

As it turns out, much of Russian-branded vodka doesn’t necessarily come from the country. In fact, Latvian-made Stoli has decided to change its name to Stolichnaya to show support for Ukraine. Many previously assumed Stoli was Russian.

And the Latvian company isn’t the only one to revisit its name.

Restaurants, bars and brands around the world have opted to show their support for Ukraine during this difficult time by changing items on the liquor shelves to reflect their stance. This includes the Indiana-based vodka company, Fuzzy’s Spirits, which has launched a new vodka called “American Stallion.”

With the new product, the company has also called on others to consider nixing the name, Moscow Mule.

“Fuzzy’s is standing proud in supporting their democratic allies with the launch of the American Stallion, a patriotic cocktail made with Fuzzy’s American Vodka,” Fuzzy’s said in a statement.

According to Fuzzy’s COO, Paul Massey, the proceeds from American Stallion will benefit the American Red Cross. Massey added that their hope with the new vodka is to add an “American democracy spin to it and remove any connotation that has anything to do with Russia.”

The voluntary boycott of Russian vodkas and liquors continues to grow by the day. Soon, it may be more common to see a Kyiv Mule than a Moscow Mule on bar menus.