Jameson Irish Whiskey will no longer be exported to Russia following a public outcry after it was revealed that the popular Irish drink was still appearing on Moscow shelves.
Confirmation of the export ban came just a few days after Fine Gael Senator Garrett Ahearn revealed a picture of a bottle of Jameson bottled in December 2022 in Clondalkin in Dublin on a shelf in Moscow.
The senator said on May 9, “While Russian drones and missiles rain down on Kyiv this week, our Jameson whiskey continues to quench Putin’s thirst.”
He had called for Jameson’s French owner, Pernod Ricard, to be added to the EU sanctions list if they did not stop selling the product.
The company had resumed shipments to Russia last year after initially stalling exports following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Jameson bottled five months ago in Dublin sold openly in Russia. Time’s up — Pernod Ricard must be added to the EU Sanctions list.
Read the statement from @GarretAhearn: https://t.co/OmBX4olEp3 pic.twitter.com/UxFt5qrFUi— Fine Gael (@FineGael) May 9, 2023
Last month, Ukraine’s ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko urged people to stop buying Jameson whiskey in protest at the company’s decision to resume trade in Russia.
Gerasko accused Jameson of playing a role in financing Russian aggression in Ukraine by continuing to trade in Russia.
In a statement on Friday, May 12, a spokesperson for the Irish Distillers group confirmed that Jameson and other products will no longer be exported to Russia.
The statement said, “Irish Distillers has today confirmed its products will no longer be exported to Russia.
"The announcement was made as part of parent company Pernod Ricard’s decision to cease exports of all its international brands to Russia.
"Pernod Ricard also announced that it will cease the distribution of their portfolio in Russia, a process that is anticipated to take some months to complete and is assessing how to adapt the local organisation in light of these decisions, while fully complying with all local legal regulations.
"Since the outbreak of the war, we have utterly condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
"We have stood and stand firmly with the people of Ukraine, providing assistance to our local team members, including direct financial assistance, psychological support, accommodation for some employees and their families in neighbouring countries and employment outside Ukraine for those who required it."
Ahearn welcomed the export ban and also said that he will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the products do not creep back into Russia.
I'm delighted that Irish Distillers has today confirmed its products will no longer be exported to Russia. The reputation of Irish whiskey internationally is restored!https://t.co/7mAQSL9cA4 https://t.co/9ffqGeOEIk— Senator Garret Ahearn (@GarretAhearn) May 12, 2023
The Irish Independent has reported that Pernod Ricard has also halted exports from Sweden of its Absolut Vodka brand to Russia, following a boycott from restaurant groups.
*This column first appeared in the May 17 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.