Shipment of alcoholic spirit drink from Chernobyl seized by authorities
The first shipment comprising bottles of an “artisanal spirit” made using apples grown near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been seized by authorities – after being bound for the UK.
Per USA Today, the spirit is made with grain and water from the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Its makers say that the spirit is Chernobyl’s first consumer product since the catastrophic nuclear disaster in 1986.
The Chernobyl Spirit Company says that 1500 bottles of its Atomik spirit were confiscated on 19 March, yet they have “no idea” why the shipment was seized.
“It seems that they are accusing us of using forged Ukrainian excise stamps, but this doesn’t make sense since the bottles are for the UK market and are clearly labeled with valid UK excise stamps,” environmental science professor at Portsmouth University and company founder Jim Smith said in a press release.
Elina Smirnova, representing The Chernobyl Spirit Company, said:
“They have targeted a foreign company which has tried to establish an ethical ‘white’ business to first of all help Ukraine. The actions of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are damaging the reputation of Ukraine as an open country for doing business. We still believe that the truth will win.”
Part of the reason for producing the spirit was to prove that land around Chernobyl’s exclusion zone could be used to produce safe-to-consume crops and other foods, per the BBC.