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'All the Russian vodka' | San Diego Dining Group outlaws Russian products

The group that runs four high end restaurants around the city is taking Russian vodka and other products off their menu's and shelves.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, anti-Russian sentiment has spread throughout the world. On the global stage, world leaders have tried to cripple Russia economically by targeting their largest industry, energy. 

The European Union announced plans last week to phase out importing fossil fuels from Russia by 2030.

On Friday, President Biden announced further sanctions against Russia. Stripping them of normal trade relation status, which means no imports of Russian luxury goods like seafood, diamonds and vodka.  

But in cities all over the world, some shopkeepers and restaurant owners were well ahead of the President when it came to boycotting Russian goods.

"So, all the Russian vodka," said Sara Arjmand, a representative of the San Diego Dining Group. "Which were the most popular vodkas we sold, are pulled off the shelves."

The group, which oversees four high-end restaurants around the city. 

Soon after the invasion, restaurant owners made the decision to remove Russian products off their bars and menus.  

"We had Russian caviar that's pulled off the menu," said Arjmand. "We found that some of our crab legs were sourced from Russia. So those are moved as well. We're supporting Alaskan king crab now."  

The group is also making a push for customers to buy domestic vodka. 

Arjmand says for the next 30 days, 10% of profits from American vodka will go to food banks that serve Ukraine. 

While a luxury product ban  might hurt those at the top, Anti-Russian sentiment is hurting some who have nothing to do with the conflict. 

In February, Ike Gazaryan, the owner of Pushkin Russian Restaurant in the Gaslamp received threats on his voicemail. 

But while the war in eastern Europe carries on, public opinion seems to stand firmly with the country and people of Ukraine while distancing themselves from Russia. 

WATCH RELATED: San Diego fire crews head to Ukraine (March 2022)


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