Supermarket chains removing Russian-origin products from shelves

Supermarket shelves (photo is illustrative).
Supermarket shelves (photo is illustrative). Source: Merilin Pärli/ERR

Major supermarkets in Estonia which had been carrying food, drink and other products made in the Russian Federation have started to remove them from the shelves in the wake of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.

Retailers are also removing TV ad spots for products of Russian origin.

Rimi Eesti CEO Vaido Pajumäe told ERR that: "People of different nationalities and different ages, and from different cultural backgrounds, work together in our company. We value and respect diverse opinions and fully support the finding of peaceful solutions in any given conflict situation."

"This makes ending cooperation with Russian companies a logical and necessary step for us in the current situation," Pajumäe continued.

The Coop chain says it will also stop selling goods of Russian and Belarusian origin, as well ending advertising.

Coop spokesperson Martin Miido said: "We believe that in the current situation it is not possible to continue cooperating with states which have so decided to oppose the democratic world order in such a brutal manner. The decision to stop advertising on Russian TV channels was made before Tuesday, 22 February, but began from Thursday, February 24."

Maxima is doing the same, as is online retailer Barbora.

Barbora CEO Kirke Pentikäinen said: "Due to the military situation in Ukraine, Barbora, in cooperation with its major partner Maxima, has decided to remove all food and consumer goods of Russian and Belarusian origin from its product selection," adding this applies in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, as well as in Estonia.

A precise list of products to be removed is being drawn up and, as of Friday, the products will be pulled.

Products of Russian origin which had until now been on sale in Maxima included various dehydrated meals and other convenience food, sauces, teas candies, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, fish products (of Belarusian origin) and snacks such as sunflower seeds.

Rimi says that its share of Russian-origin products had been small, and that it started removing the products in question on Thursday, in its outlets in all three Baltic States.

"Currently, about one percent of the goods sold in Estonia branches of Rimi are of Russian origin. Although this is a very small part of our selection, we will stop sourcing and selling goods of Russian origin in our stores, in the light of the current crisis," Vaido Pajumäe added.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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