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Belgian business body boasts of beer makers’ success in Russia

While many Western companies are seeking to distance themselves from Russia, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is boasting about how Belgian beers are still as widely available in Russian stores as before President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a tweet on Friday, the Moscow-based chamber posted a video showing Russian shelves packed with bottles and cans of Hoegaarden, Stella Artois and Delirium Tremens. The trade body saluted the fact that “the choice of right beers in Russian retail stores remains at the level of the beginning of 2022.”

Asked what was meant by “right beers,” a representative for the chamber responded that: “These are the beers that are drinkable. There’s no other meaning to it,” before adding that “among other things, yes, there are always Belgian beers, of course, they are the best beers in the world!”

The representative added that since beers and food production are not targeted by the European sanctions, “they are still allowed to be transported, to be sold in Russia, to be produced in Russia by the companies that have the copyright of these brands.”

“We are happy that people can still drink Belgian beer, which we believe is the best beer in the world,” the representative added.

Still, for all the joy of having Russians drinking Belgian beers, the tweet was subsequently deleted.

This comes as Belgium’s iconic beer brands, Leffe, is facing calls for a boycott after bosses began production in breweries across Russia, months after Putin’s invasion.

The controversy also started from a tweet by the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Russia, which said that Leffe beer would be produced in seven Russian breweries.

The Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce, which represents the accredited chambers of commerce in Belgium and the Belgian chambers abroad, did not comment on the matter, but confirmed that the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Russia was one of their members, and added that it didn’t have authority over what the Moscow-based chamber does.

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