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Russia's Legend of Kremlin vodka denies Ukraine tensions disrupted UK supply

Published:  07 May, 2014

Legend of Kremlin vodka has denied that tensions in Ukraine have disrupted its UK supply, saying instead it had a commercial disagreement with its distributor.

Last week Emporia Brands, the UK supplier for the Russian vodka, said it had called a halt to further imports of the vodka, owing to tensions in Russia and Ukraine.

Legend of KremlinLegend of KremlinLegend of Kremlin vodka says UK supply is disrupted because of a commercial disagreement with its distributor, rather than tensions in Russia and the Ukraine.

Legend of Kremlin is the official vodka of the Russian Federation Parliament The Duma, as well as the Kremlin. The vodka is produced in Kaliningrad in the Russian Federation.

A statement from Emporia Brands last week said distribution would continue while stocks remained in the UK, and a company spokesman confirmed that the situation would be reviewed at a future date depending on the resolution of current issues between the Russian Federation and the European Union.

However Ekaterina Egorova, export director at Legend of Kremlin vodka, told yesterday that the reason it stopped working with Emporia brands was "purely commercial". After working together for three years, Egorova said the two companies "did not agree on a marketing budget" and the vodka brand refused to continue working with Emporia.

The Russian brand has now hired a brand manager who "will try to restructure the market" Egorova said.  

Asked for clarification, a spokesman for Emporia said it had resigned the UK agency for Legend of Kremlin vodka last week and has no further statement to make on the matter.

Tensions in Ukraine have been escalating since November when President Viktor Yanukovych's pulled out of an association deal with the EU, sparking major street protests that climaxed in his downfall.

In March, Russia reacted by annexing Ukraine's Crimea region. Unrest continues to grow in the east of Ukraine, which has a strong affinity to Russia. During these events, relations between the West and Moscow have soured.