In Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, in the Sterplan district, restaurants with popular addresses such as Teatergrillen, Riche or Sturehof will no longer serve glasses of “Absolut Vodka”, “Jameson” brand whiskey and rum “Malibu” from this weekend. In fact, the Svenska Brasserier Group, which owns these brands, is ceasing sales of all spirits owned by the French conglomerate Pernod Ricard. For good reason, the group’s spokesperson announced on April 13 that the brand of popular vodka produced in Ahus, in the south of Sweden, will resume exports to Russia at the end of 2022.
Following the announcement, calls for a boycott of the Scandinavian kingdom have been growing. Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson was very surprised by the choice made by Pernot Picard, explaining on the TV4 channel: “I think many consumers find this a very strange process.“
The Swedish political class condemned the selection of the Pernot Ricard group on social media. “Shameful result“and”A moral decline”.
Liberal MEP Karin Karlsbro called the decision a “Good gift for Putin”. For social-democrat MEP Anders Ygeman, it is “Absolute bootin”.
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Pernod Picard explained in a press release that after the war in Ukraine began, exports to Russia were halted and the remaining stocks were sold. Exports continued when these reserves were exhausted. According to the French spirits group, by continuing their operation in Russia, they avoided all charges of intentional bankruptcy, and this enabled them to shield the Russian teams of the group from any liability.
A non-unanimous response on Swedish Vodka’s Twitter, we can read such accusations.Drink to the health of genocide” or watch a fake ad go viral where you can see a Ukrainian city collapsing under bombs with the slogan “total neglect”.
Systembolaget, the Swedish state-owned retail chain that sells wines and spirits, has had a lot of news on its Facebook page. We see messages asking Absolut and Ricard bottles to be removed from the shelves. At this time the stores have not yet taken action.
On the other hand, in Kristianstad, in the south of the country, a costume exhibition scheduled for this summer at the regional museum has been cancelled. It’s all about the “Absolut Fashion” collection featuring the creations of top fashion designers in association with the vodka brand.
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