Putin snubbed again as Welsh whiskey distillery stops exports to Russia

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But Penderyn Whisky is one of several premium brands to have taken a stand against Putin and his regime by ceasing exports to Russia. While exporting luxury goods is already banned under Government sanctions, this is defined at anything over worth more than £250, leaving many whiskies in a grey zone.

“We’re not a political organisation, but we sat down with our shareholders and decided that, morally, Russia had crossed a line in invading Ukraine which we could not ignore,’ said CEO Stephen Davies said:

Penderyn – which became the first new whisky distillery in Wales for more than 100 years when it launched 22 years ago – started to export to Russia 12 years ago and had been enjoying a steady increase in sales over the last five years.

Though it produces £600 single malts, its main exports to Russia were in the £30-50 price range, with customers drawn to the brand’s authenticity and unique back story.

“Over the last five years sales to Russia and surrounding areas have increased 25 per cent – we were regaining real traction,” said Stephen.

“We risk losing that to others who continue to export, as our importer has pointed out, but our brand is about the values of honesty and authenticity and we stand by our decision.”

The firm has even donated £10,000 for Ukrainian refugees through the charity Loop.

While Diageo, Edrington and Chivas Brothers have chosen to stop exporting Scotch brands like Johnnie Walker, Famous Grouse and 100 Pipers, conglomerates like Campari, owner of The Glen Grant and Wild Turkey, continue.

Last night a Campari spokesman said: “We have stopped all investments in Russia and reduced the business to the bare minimum necessary to pay the salaries of our colleagues. We just do not want to leave them behind.”

But Russia expert Keir Giles, of Chatham House, said: “Any firm that continues to do business with Russia is enriching the state through taxes, and those taxes are being spent to commit genocide in Ukraine. This is not something that should be funded.”



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