Submitted by Association of LGBT and their friends MOZAIKA

Association of LGBT people and their friends MOZAIKA in Riga, Latvia is calling for a halt to „Dump Stoli, Dump Russian Vodka” campaign which has recently been launched as a part of several international campaigns to boycott Russian goods in order to draw attention to anti-LGBT and anti-Human Rights legislation and activities in Russia.

Stolichnaya vodka is not produced in Russia and it is misleading to say that it is a Russian product. All Stolichnaya vodka for worldwide export is produced in Latvia by the Latvian company Latvijas Balzams in Riga, the capital of Latvia.

“Russian vodka” is a technology method and it does not necessarily mean that it is made in Russia, like in this case when “Russian vodka” brand is produced in Latvia. On every bottle of Stolichnaya vodka you can read “Produced in Latvia for SPI Group”.

MOZAIKA has been very active in condemning anti-LGBT actions taken by Russia’s officials. International society should act and react in regards to grave violations of human rights in Russia, and elsewhere. However it is essential to do careful research before every action to ensure that the activities reach the addressee of the campaign.

Latvia is a democratic country, a member of the European Union and NATO, and has made a lot of progress in recent years in regards to protection of human rights.

This campaign can harm Latvian economy, still weak following the global financial crisis, and the LGBT community in Latvia, which is still fragile and not fully protected under the law.

MOZAIKA is the only LGBT organisation in Latvia, it arranges a wide variety of activities to provide information and raise awareness about LGBT issues, educate public sector workers, provide support to LGBT people, engage in advocacy to improve legislation, as well as engage in a wide variety of community based activities.

MOZAIKA is also in contact with SPI Group, owner of Latvijas Balzams and Stolichnaya brand, and we are happy to acknowledge quote by Marco Ferrari, The Chief Marketing officer of SPI Group “this boycott will never change our approach and desire to support the LGBT community”.

“We would like to urge everyone to give strong support to the LGBT community in Russia. Work with your politicians to put pressure on Russia, reach out to LGBT activists in Russia to devise the best support strategies, and refrain from initiating uninformed campaigns that can cause unintended harm in other parts of the world in addition to having no influence on the intended addressee,” stated MOZAIKA Board member Kaspars Zalitis.

The Association would once again like to call for an end to the “Dump Stoli, Dump Russian Vodka” campaign, which causes damage to Latvia, not Russia.

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