RUSSIAN beverages will be boycotted by Victorian hoteliers, following a push spearheaded by Bendigo publican, Ray Sharawara, with the ban likely to spread around the nation.
Mr Sharawara, who discarded the drinks weeks ago at his establishment, prompted the powerful industry group - the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) - to remove the beverages from sale.
The decision has coincided with an Australian Government move to slap a ban on the export of luxury goods to Russia in response to the superpower's invasion of Ukraine.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said the government would prohibit the export of expensive wines, high value cosmetics and car parts for luxury vehicles.
"These sanctions target (Russian) President Vladimir Putin and his wealthy enablers, not ordinary Russian consumers," she said.
Mr Sharawara, whose parents migrated to Australia from Ukraine in the late 1940's, put forward a motion to the Victorian AHA executive on Tuesday calling for the boycott.
"I understand sanctions also affect us, but this may be small price to pay in the long run," he said.
"History repeatedly shows you must counter an authoritarian state or will certainly end up in an all out war."
The AHA decision follows an announcement in February that retailers Dan Murphy's and BWS would also halt the sale of Russian drinks.
The Endeavour Group, which owns the stores, said it had identified 47 products of Russian origin would remove them from its stores, hotels and online platforms. The popularity of vodka in the Australian market has risen sharply in recent years.
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The motion passed by the Victorian AHA directly linked the boycott to the invasion of Ukraine.
"The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) expresses support to the people of Ukraine and categorically condemns the war that Russia unleashed against Ukraine," it stated.
"We demand that the leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin, immediately cease fire, leave the territory of the sovereign state of Ukraine, and end this shameful war.
"We ask all publicans in Australia who care about its future to join the peace movement and stop the use of Russian vodka and all other Russian products in our hotels. We are against war!"
Mr Sharawara said the AHA would consider extending the boycott nationwide at a national executive meeting in coming weeks.
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