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Goodbye, Moscow Mule?Countries ban Russian vodka

President Joe Biden on Friday took further steps to put pressure on Russia’s economy due to the invasion of Ukraine. These measures include a ban on the import of vodka. We leave the names of popular Moscow Mule and White Russian cocktails to others.

Biden has issued a presidential order banning the import of Russian seafood, spirits / vodka, non-industrial diamonds, and the export of luxury watches, vehicles, apparel, alcohol, jewelry and other commodities to Russia and Belarus. Russian elite. European allies and G7 countries said they would follow suit.

US luxury goods export restrictions previously applied only to North Korea.

More importantly, the White House, along with European and G7 leaders, said it would take action to deprive Russia of its most favored nation treatment. Each country needs its own legislature to approve the change, but it is expected to do so soon. Canceling the Permanent Normal Trade Relations will significantly increase tariffs on goods imported from Russia. Higher trade barriers will make it more difficult for Russian companies to do business with half of the world economy.

The allies also said they are working to deny Russia access to financing from multilateral lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. In addition, it has strengthened guidance to prevent the use of digital currencies as a way to circumvent remittance restrictions and proposes a ban on future investment in Russia’s energy sector, including technology transfers.

The European Union has also announced that it will ban imports of major steel products from Russia.

The move aims to maintain the attack on Ukraine and deny Russia’s leadership material support to hold Putin’s inner circle accountable.

“We are ready to impose further restrictions on the import and export of major commodities and technologies to the Russian Federation with the aim of refusing Russia’s revenues and preventing the public from undertaking Putin’s war. “G-7 leaders said in a joint statement. “Note that international companies have already withdrawn from the Russian market. We are deprived of access to luxury goods and assets by the elite, agents, and oligarchs who support President Putin’s war. The elite who maintain Putin’s war machine can no longer enjoy the benefits of this system and should waste the resources of the Russian people. “

The import and export ban announced on Friday was decided earlier this week to block oil and energy products, which account for 60% of the $ 26 billion in annual imports from Russia, and a series of others designed to segregate Russia. Compared to sanctions, it is primarily symbolic of the global financial system and economy. The White House denied that the import ban would generate more than $ 1 billion in Russia’s annual income, and said luxury export restrictions would cover about $ 550 million worth of goods.

According to US government data, Russia accounts for only 1.7% of total vodka imports, for a total of $ 18.5 million. Edited by the Spirit Spirit Council.. The largest exporters of vodka to the United States are France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Latvia.

Some states in the United States have already banned the sale of Russian vodka. In Virginia, where alcohol is sold in state-owned stores, seven Russian brands have been removed from the shelves: Beluga, Hammer & Sickle, Imperia, Mamont, Organica, Russian Standard and ZYR.

The vodka brands Stolichnaya and Smirnoff have Russian-themed Monica, but are made in other countries.

Raising European trade barriers will further hurt Russia. Bilateral trade between the EU and Russia is ten times that between the United States and Russia.

US and European allies have also closed airports and airspace to Russian aircraft, disconnecting many Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system used by banks to send funds and allow customers to make payments. Frozen the assets of a designated person close to the Putin administration.

“Americans are united. The world is united. And we are standing with the Ukrainians. We are the direction of the world to those who are likely to be dictators and emperors. I won’t let you instruct, “Biden said in a speech to the country.

Click here for more Freight Waves / American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

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