'Together we stand': Leeds-based bar group bans all Russian drinks from its venues in show of solidarity for Ukraine

A Leeds-based bar group has banned all Russian products and drinks from its venues across the country in a show of solidarity for the people of Ukraine.

By Alex Grant
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 4:30 pm

Arc Inspirations is behind a number of popular locals bars including Box, Manahatta and Banyan.

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The company will be pulling all its Russian vodkas among a host of other drinks following the ongoing conflict.

Arc Inspirations is behind a number of popular locals bars including Box, Manahatta and Banyan. Picture: James Hardisty.

A number of body's across Europe and the world have taken a stand against Russia as part of widespread condemnation for the actions of President Vladimir Putin.

These include the widespread banning of Russian airline Aeroflot while in sport, UEFA has pulled the Champions League final out of Russia, and the Formula One cancelled its Sochi Grand Prix.

In a statement provided to the YEP, Arc Inspirations CEO and co-founder Martin Wolstencroft said:

“As the situation in Ukraine continues to unfold, we have decided to take a stand and have stopped pouring Russian vodka at bars across our venues.

"Putting people at the heart of our business is what we do. Together we stand and support our employees, customers, partners, and peers who have been affected.”

Following weeks of unrest, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson immediately promising widespread sanctions.

These include government plans to tackle "dirty money" and expose foreign oligarchs who launder their wealth through the UK’s property market.

The co-founder of Bundobust, which has venues across the country in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, tweeted his support for Arc's decision and encouraged other businesses to follow suit.

"I’ve had quite a few messages from my colleagues in the restaurant, bar and beer industries asking if there is anything that they can do to help, so I’ve suggested that they can help by stop stocking Russian products." he said.

"Please stop stocking Russian Vodka. Instead use brands like Finlandia and Eristoff for house pours, and Polish and Ukrainian (of courses) for something special. There’s also some great producers here in the UK."

The decision has been met with widespread support from many online with one user tweeting:

"I hope many follow Arc in this move."

Other users described the decision as "brilliant" and a "very good move."

Tensions remain high between Russia and the West, with the increasingly volatile Russian President having put his strategic nuclear deterrent forces on alert.

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