When is a ban on Russian products not a ban on Russian products?

That is the question supermarket giants Asda are being asked by an Isle of Wight County Press reader this week after he spotted a brand of vodka proudly displaying the label "distilled and bottled in Russia" some four months after Asda banned Russian products.

In solidarity with Ukraine, Asda announced in March that it was removing Russian goods from sale.

But Dave Rose, from Wootton, was surprised to find J. J. Whitley's distinctive bottles still on sale, proudly stating its Russian heritage, in Asda's Newport store.

Dave sympathised with the distiller's decision to immediately transfer its production of vodka from Russia to Chorley in Lancashire.

But he couldn't see why Asda is not removing the Russian bottles.

He complained to the company but was less than satisfied with the response.

Dave told the County Press: "I would have hoped that the Asda internal store instruction should have meant that the J. J. Whitley Russian produced vodka should be immediately cleared from the shelves and that at a later date when the clearly repackaged UK produced J J Whitley vodka was available, then that new stock could now be displayed and sold.

Isle of Wight County Press: Russian-produced J.J. Whitley vodka on Asda shelves this week.Russian-produced J.J. Whitley vodka on Asda shelves this week.

"It makes no sense to me to remove the Russian vodka, if at a later date the very same Russian vodka is put back on the shelves."

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Asda, when contacted by the County Press said it would make little sense to remove the Whitley products, given the company's decision to remove production from Russia

A spokesperson for Asda said: "In March we removed all Russian products from our shelves in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, since then a number of brands, including Whitley's Vodka, have relocated their production to the UK which is why we are happy to stock these products."

J. J. Whitley has said its parent company Halewood was 100 per cent against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it stood with Ukraine, which was its biggest export market.