Stoli® Group has a long history of fighting the Russian regime. We unequivocally condemn the military action in Ukraine and stand in support of the Ukrainian people.
“The safety and security of our Ukrainian team is our top priority. We are monitoring the situation closely and are already moving swiftly and decisively to provide support where needed, both to our people on the ground as well as partners,” noted Damian McKinney, Global CEO, Stoli® Group. “While we do not have any operations in Russia, we do in Ukraine and across many of the bordering countries.”
“I have personally experienced persecution by Putin’s regime and I share the pain of Ukraine and its people,” said Mr Shefler, Founder, Stoli® Group.
After purchasing the struggling business in 1997, Shefler transformed Stoli® vodka into a global vertically integrated company. In 2000, in one the first examples of the regime identifying a valuable asset and attempting to wrest control of it, Putin waged a battle for Stoli ® vodka trademarks across the world. This is still ongoing in some countries. Yuri Shefler left Russia in 2002 and has not returned since.
When all else failed, the regime established FKP Soyuzplodoimport (also known as FTE Soyuzplodoimport), a Russian state-company created in 2002 to attack trademark rights around the world. Based in Moscow, FKP sells an inferior Russian product called Stolichnaya in very limited markets. The product is easily distinguishable from Stoli® Group’s as the label clearly states made in Russia. Stoli® Group has no connection to this product in both production and ideology. FKP may not sell their product in 150 countries around the world, including the United States, where we own the trademark rights and where only our Latvian produced vodka can be lawfully sold.
“For decades, Stoli® Group has resisted Putin’s regime. We stand now with all Ukrainians and Russians calling for peace,” said McKinney.