Sanctions against billionaires - that's one (very much meaningless) thing. But halting sales of Russian vodka, now that could really cripple someone, just not clear who. And in an attempt to answer that question, the premier of Canada's Saskatchewan province, Brad Wall, says he is considering banning Russian booze in government-run liquor stores because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Wall says it’s a small measure, but sends a strong statement.
Yes, well, rhetoric is one thing. The realization that trade is bilateral (as both the EU and USA have realized in recent days), something completely different. Which is why despite the posturing, don't hold your breath. As Globanews reports, "Wall says trade issues have to be considered because Saskatchewan manufacturers sell shortline rail equipment into Russia.... the premier cautions that international trade can be complicated, so the province wants to work with the federal government to find out what trade sanctions are in the works." Here's the answer: none.
Still, this is a good marketing campaign for domestic booze makers nonetheless.
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority carries Russian Standard Vodka.
Why Saskatchewan? "Political violence in Ukraine hits home for many people in Saskatchewan where about 13 per cent of the population has Ukrainian roots."
Finally, there would be nothing quite like sending the price of Russian booze soaring, leading to bumper profits for producers and bootleggers, if indeed someone were to arbtirarily halt such a "liquid" trade channel. Which is why it will never happen. Just like nobody will ever say no to that other "liquid" Russian exports, no matter tha posturing - crude oil.