Jameson owner Pernod Ricard to halt exports to Russia after backlash

Jameson's Irish whiskey

Sean Pollock

Jameson owner Pernod Ricard is about to stop the export of its international brands to Russia following an international backlash, the Sunday Independent understands.

On Thursday evening, the world’s second largest producer of wines and spirits published a statement on its website following protests in both London and Dublin against the company’s decision to export brands like Jameson whiskey and Beefeater gin to Russia.

Earlier this month the Sunday Independent reported that Pernod Ricard had resumed exports to Russia, leading to a backlash in several European countries. In Sweden, Pernod Ricard recently halted exports of its Absolut Vodka brand to Russia following a boycott from restaurant groups.

In the statement on Thursday, Pernod Ricard said the reality of exiting Russia was “both complex and extremely challenging.”

“We also fully understand and acknowledge the reaction over the recent days as we sought to give context to the decisions we have taken. Many companies, in our industry and in others, have made the same difficult choice.

“We are working hard to find the best way to navigate this complexity, including stopping the export of our international brands while ensuring the welfare and safety of our team, considering the local legal constraints. Knowing that to do so will not prevent any of our brands falling into the hands of the ‘grey market’, which has strongly increased in recent months, over which we have no control.”

The Sunday Independent understands that Pernod Ricard is about to stop the export of its international brands to Russia.

Pernod Ricard had previously suspended exports of its international brands to Russia in the aftermath of the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year but later resumed sales.

In the statement, Pernod Ricard said it “utterly condemned” the invasion of Ukraine by Russia from the very beginning.

The company added it “significantly reduced” the number and quantity of brands imported to a level that enabled it to protect its local teams, their livelihoods, and the welfare of their families in full compliance with international sanctions.

“This also meant reducing the quantities being sold to avoid ‘intentional bankruptcy’, which is a criminal offence in Russia and represents a significant risk for our employees.”

Pernod Ricard added it was committed to protecting its colleagues in the region, which had been the “guiding principle of the difficult choices we have made, and we continue to work hard to find the best solution to this difficult dilemma.”

“We will be providing updates as appropriate.”

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