Boycotts of Russian products may not have huge financial impact but are still important, expert says

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There's more than one reason not to drink Russian vodka.

Over recent days, several businesses have made headlines for boycotting Russian products. A Las Vegas bar owner, for example, helped raise money for the Red Cross by pouring bottles of Russian vodka down the drain.

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States and companies across the country are boycotting Russian vodka. (iStock)

According to one expert, boycotts like this aren't likely to cripple the Russian economy, but they can still help.

Associate Dean and Economics Professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan Paul Isely spoke with WZZM 13 about how big of an impact vodka sales have on the Russian economy. According to him, vodka sales make up about $42 million per year. 

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According to one expert, vodka sales don’t make up a significant percentage of the Russian economy. (iStock)

"That's really small compared to the $1.7 trillion economy in Russia," Isely said. "But for a company that can be very big. So if we were to decrease the units sold, it would affect the profitability of those companies and affect their willingness to support (the invasion)."

While these individual companies may not be able to change Russian President Vladimir Putin's mind, Isely still believes the boycotts are important.

He explained, "Having this symbolism that says, yes, there's a large group of people who are supporting this by showing it and doing this type of thing. By boycotting a product, it can help show people across the world that the United States isn't divided by these types of things."

Fox Business previously reported that Brandon Powers, owner of Evel Pie in Las Vegas, who poured vodka down the drain and explained the motive behind his fundraiser.

"We're going to keep on doing this as long as Putin illegally occupies Ukraine," he said.

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Bartenders from Evel Pie pour Russian vodka down the drain in downtown Las Vegas.  (Evel Pie)

He later continued, "We love the Russian people. This is 100% focused on Putin and focused on getting money to Ukrainian people in need through various humanitarian efforts within Ukraine."

Isely, meanwhile, told WZZM 13 that he believes that sanctions placed on Russia by multiple countries, including the U.S., will push its economy into a recession.

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