Premium Russian vodka Stolichnaya should be back on the shelves within days following a move to bottle the brand outside Russia. A dispute between producer SPI (Sojuzplodimport) and the Russian government brought export of the brand to a halt, but SPI has sidestepped the problem by bottling it in Riga in Latvia. UK distributor First Drinks Brands ran short of stocks in March and had to stop sending out new deliveries. The major retailers affected were Sainsbury, Safeway and Waitrose. First Drinks marketing manager Fiona Lovatt said: "We now have stock available to order and can guarantee supply again. We have been working closely with SPI to resolve the stock issue." Supply problems for the brand began when the Russian government impounded all export stock at their border as part of a long-running trade market dispute with SPI. Stolichnaya is still being distilled in Russia, but in order to ensure continuity of supply to the international markets, it is being bottled in Riga. SPI's lawyer Richard Edlin said: "There is no simple solution to this problem and the answer will have to come from within Russia. "It is the ministry of agriculture which is refusing to let the product out and we want the government to look at what the ministry is doing and make it fall into line." SPI president Alexey Oliynik said: "It is business as usual again, and shipments to the UK have been fully restored." {{DRINKS }}

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