Youngkin calls for review, termination of Russian ties; Roanoke Valley organization responds

Published: Feb. 26, 2022 at 4:38 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Governor Glenn Youngkin has called for decisive action points in support of Ukraine and against Russian ties in areas of business, government, education and retirement funding.

In response to “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion,” the following actions were ordered:

“· Ordering the Department of General Services to immediately review all contracts across government and procurement to determine what, if any, Virginia tax dollars are spent on goods and services from primarily Russian companies.

· Calling on The City of Norfolk and the City of Roanoke to end sister city partnerships with Russian cities.

· Calling on the Virginia Retirement System Board of Trustees and university endowment funds to divest in a prudent and orderly fashion any and all holdings of the Russian Ruble and any and all securities of Russian companies”

“The invasion of Ukraine by Soviet dictator Vladimir Putin cannot stand, and the people of the Commonwealth are ready to rally in opposition to this senseless attack on a sovereign nation and western ideals,” added Youngkin. “Today, we are acting to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they defend their country. And while these are important steps, it is incumbent upon President Biden to take a stronger, more decisive leadership position to end this war.”

Roanoke has been a sister city with Pskov, Russia since 1992. As part of Roanoke’s effort, equipment and medical supplies for hospitals, orphanages and hospice has been provided from the Star City to Pskov. An agreement was struck in 1993 between Ferrum College and the Pskov Pedagogical Institute (now Pskov State University) that allows for students from Russia and Roanoke to study in each others’ countries.

Roanoke Valley Sister Cities, Inc. issued the following response:

The Honorable Glenn Youngkin

Office of the Governor

PO Box 1475

Richmond, Virginia 23218

Your Excellency:

Roanoke Valley Sister Cities, Inc., appreciates your concern for the people of Russia, especially the citizens of our Sister City, Pskov. We value our partnerships with our seven Sister Cities on four continents. We are committed to promoting mutual understanding, friendship, and peace as President Eisenhower envisioned in his 1956 White House Summit on Citizen Diplomacy. Through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation, we can advance our mission -- one individual, one community at a time.

This is not the time to tell our friends in Pskov that we want to sever our ties with them. While we may not agree with the politics in Russia, or in the countries of any of our Sister Cities for that matter, we do not get involved with politics nor take a political stand on any issue. Our people-to-people relationships are the best way for us to demonstrate to the people of Pskov and Russia at large that the citizens of the Roanoke Valley and the American people are not their enemies, nor do we consider them to be ours.

Please accept our best wishes for the success of your administration in improving the lives of all Virginians.


Mary Jo Fassie, President

Roanoke Valley Sister Cities, Inc.

Courtesy: RVSCI

Additional measures are also being taken by public and private entities in the United States and around the world in support of Ukraine, such as stopping sales of Russian branded alcohol.

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