RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, Governor Glenn Youngkin on Saturday called for the Commonwealth of Virginia and local governments to cut ties with Russian entities.
“Today, we are acting to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they defend their country,” Youngkin said.
In a statement on Feb. 26, the governor said he was directing the Department of General Services, which oversees the state’s contracts with private companies, to determine whether any public money was being spent on “goods and services from primarily Russian companies.”
Youngkin also called on Norfolk and Roanoke to end their “sister city” arrangements with two Russian cities. That call was echoed by Norfolk mayor Kenny Alexander, although the final decision to cut ties lies with the Norfolk’s Sister City Association.
“The people of the Commonwealth are ready to rally in opposition to this senseless attack on a sovereign nation and western ideals,” Youngkin said.
The governor’s statement also incorrectly identified Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “Soviet dictator.” While Russia’s government is deeply undemocratic, Putin came to power in 1999, years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Putin’s ruling United Russia Party is a conservative party.
While Youngkin does not directly oversee investments by the Virginia Retirement Fund and the state’s public universities, he called on the governing bodies of both to end their investments in Russian companies.