The producers of the “Stolichnaya” vodka posted a message on their official Facebook page supporting LGBT rights and criticizing the Russian laws that restrict the rights of homosexuals. It was a response to the call by international LGBT organizations to boycott the Russian vodka.
In addition, an open letter signed by Val Mendeleev, the CEO of the SPI Group, appeared on the manufacturer’s website. In that letter, Mendeleev says that his company has always been and will remain a staunch supporter and friend of the LGBT community worldwide. To illustrate his point he refers to a number of projects in support of gay rights. Mendeleev also explains that Stolichnaya Vodka has no relation to the Russian government and is the property of the SPI Group, based in Luxembourg.
Earlier a number of major international LGBT organizations called to boycott the Russian vodka brands, in particular Stolichnaya and “Russian Standard,” in response to the adoption of laws that restrict the rights of homosexuals in Russia.
In Russia the rights to the Stolichnaya brand belong to a state enterprise, Souyzplodoimport. For a decade, the company tried to regain the rights to an international brand, Stolichnaya, for which the export rights belongs to the SPI Group. The company was formed under the name of Souzplodoimport in the late 90’s.