The Ukrainian crisis has made people take note of which vodkas are Russian – and which are not. One of the world’s renowned vodkas which is decidedly not Russian is Moskovskaya Vodka. Stockists and consumers can continue to enjoy this vodka with a clear conscience: using 100% European Union materials, Moskovskaya is produced by Amber Beverage Group (ABG) in its Latvian distillery established in 1900 – Latvijas balzams.
“As the founder of the SPI Group, the holding company of Amber Beverage Group, I relocated all production to Latvia when I was forced into a conflict with Putin’s regime in 2000 and left Russia. I am grateful to Latvia and its people for providing a safe haven for the company. It has been a great journey, bringing close to 1.5 billion euro paid in taxes to the state of Latvia. Today, the company stands for peace in Europe and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” said Yuri Shefler, the main shareholder of Amber Beverage Group.
Within the first days after the Russian troops entered Ukraine, Moskovskaya Vodka’s brand owner was one of the first global businesses to announce and offer support to the people of Ukraine. The company has emphasised that it stands for peace, community, democracy, and solidarity.
Jekaterina Stuģe, CEO and Board Member of Amber Beverage Group, said: “We could not silently observe what is happening from the sidelines. Military action in Ukraine is unacceptable to us, and our aim is to offer support to the people affected. Today more than ever we want to emphasize that Amber Beverage Group is a Luxembourg-headquartered, global company and that our business and our core brands, such as Moskovskaya Vodka, Riga Black Balsam and others, are international brands, made in Latvia, Estonia, Ireland or Mexico, mainly using production materials from European Union countries.”
Due to the brand’s name, the true provenance of Moskovskaya Vodka may surprise people. Moskovskaya is one of the world’s great heritage vodkas and is produced by Amber Beverage Group in its Latvian distillery – Latvijas balzams.
Because of the current situation in Ukraine, Latvijas balzams has had to change the delivery routes of some materials. For example, for several years the company used various materials from Ukraine: corks, capsules, bottles, labels, shippers. For the continuity of the company's operations, the supply of these materials is currently switching to other European Union countries: Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Germany.
The brand is growing fast and one of the reasons is that this is not only a traditional vodka but also that it is ‘green’. The memorable green label reflects the brand’s environmental sustainability ambitions with regard to production, water conservation and responsible consumption. They are aiming at achieving carbon neutrality within the next few years.
ABG Global Brand Director, Vodkas, Benedikt Fimpel, said: “Beyond establishing values and our purpose, we are looking to take ownership of our distinct green colour and build rational benefits around it, especially by becoming a true green brand and company. For this we will launch our ‘green ambition’ in 2022.”