UPDATE 1-Baltics shops remove Russian, Belarus goods from shelves

(reacasts to add Rimi)

VILNIUS, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Large Baltic grocery retailers said on Thursday they would remove Russian and Belarus origin goods from their shelves, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We took this decision after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, including from Belarus territory,” Lithuania’s largest grocery retailer Maxima spokesperson Ernesta Dapkiene told Reuters.

Goods from Russia and Belarus, mostly alcoholic drinks, accounted for just 1.3% of Maxima’s sales.

Rimi, another large chain, said its is removing Russian goods from its shops in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, BNS news agency reported.

“We value and respect different opinions and fully support the search for peaceful solutions in any conflict situation. Therefore, ending cooperation with Russian companies is a logical and necessary step for us in the current situation,” said Vaido Padumae, CEO of Rimi Estonia. (Reporting by Andrius Sytas, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Alistair Bell)