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Protesters at the World Distilled Spirits Conference in Edinburgh called for the industry to stop doing business with Pernod Ricard if it continued selling brands such in Russia

Pernod Ricard is halting all exports to Russia following a public outcry over its decision to continue selling popular brands like Jameson and Beefeater as the war rages in Ukraine.

The French brand confirmed in a statement on Friday it stopped exports of all its brands to Russia at the end of April, although it anticipates existing stock will take “some months” to be sold.

Pernod Ricard first suspended exports to the country last year following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine but decided to restart some of its operations in Russia earlier this year over fears of fraudulent bankruptcy prosecution from the Kremlin. 

It said it wanted to protect its 300 local employees, as well as prevent its brands being sold on the black market.

After the latest retreat, it is “assessing how to adapt our local organisation in light of these decisions while fully complying with all local regal regulations”.

The decision marks a further withdrawal from Russia after it halted exports of Absolut Vodka last month after a backlash in its production country of Sweden, as well as Finland where restaurants and bars threatened to stop selling the group’s drinks.

“This is not business as usual and our decisions were not taken lightly,” a spokesman said last month.

Read more: Pernod Ricard slammed for resuming Russia exports

Public pressure on the drinks giants has continued to mount recently. Protesters at the World Distilled Spirits Conference in Edinburgh last week called for the drinks industry to stop doing business with Pernod Ricard as long as it continued selling Scottish brands such as Glenvilet and Ballantine’s in Russia.

The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain said it was “disappointed to learn that Glenlivet, Jameson, Beefeater” were still sold in Russia. ”The whole industry should be appalled at what Pernod Ricard is doing,” the group said.

Earlier this month, Irish senator Garret Ahearn called for Pernod Ricard to be added to the EU sanctions list.