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News >  Washington

Inslee urges state agencies, businesses to stop work with Russia

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 28, 2022

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to students at Gonzaga University in Spokane on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Inslee joined a number of other governors Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, in calling on state agencies to identify if any state money is going to Russian companies or investments supporting Russia.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)
Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to students at Gonzaga University in Spokane on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Inslee joined a number of other governors Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, in calling on state agencies to identify if any state money is going to Russian companies or investments supporting Russia. (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee joined a number of other governors Monday in calling on state agencies to identify if any state money is going to Russian companies or investments supporting Russia.

At a news conference Monday, Inslee called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “vicious, malicious and totally unjustified.”

“This cannot stand,” Inslee said. “And the entire world needs to be united in this regard.”

He said Washington intends to do its part in standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Inslee did not cite any specific examples of types of relationships Washington state agencies might have with Russian companies but said the state agencies should look toward “terminating or canceling them and not letting them go forward.”

“If our state can put one brick in a wall around Putin, it will be a good thing, and we intend to do all we can in this regard,” Inslee said.

A number of other states – both Democratic and Republican controlled – have taken similar action, pulling state investments from Russian companies and encouraging businesses to do the same, according to the Associated Press. For example, the Indiana House passed legislation that would block Russian-controlled businesses and nonprofits from acquiring property in Indiana. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order forbidding New York from doing business with Russia.

Connecticut, New Jersey and Virginia governors joined Inslee in ordering a review of where state money was going and terminate it, if any was in Russia.

In the Washington state Legislature, both the House and the Senate added amendments to the budget that would provide funding for grants to counties looking to assist Ukrainian refugees. It also provides funding for housing for refugees in Washington.

Inslee said he supports any private company who wants to take similar actions. He said the state would not be assisting businesses if they lose money by choosing to cut off relations with Russia. Instead, he said a small percentage of lost revenue is a “good investment” in protecting democracy.

“We are saying no to Russia,” Inslee said. “We are not going to do business with you in the state of Washington. Period. As long as you’re in Ukraine.”

Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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