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New York will cut ties with Russian companies, Hochul says

Mike Groll
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Kathy Hochul holds a briefing in the Red Room at the State Capitol.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined the European Union and United Kingdom by signing an executive order on Sunday to ban support of business with Russia after its military invaded Ukraine.

She directed the state Comptroller’s Office to evaluate New York's business dealings with Russia-based companies. New York will avoid new investments, too.

Hochul said the goal is to divest companies to hurt Russia’s economy.

“Whereas New York stands firmly with Ukraine and strongly condemns Russia's actions against the country,” Hochul said. “Whereas the state will not permit its own investment activity, whether directly or indirectly, to aid Russia as it commits these human rights violations and atrocities. And whereas this order is a testament to the values and the economic strength of New York State, which has a higher gross domestic product than all of Russia.”

Hochul claims the state’s larger economy gives New York special economic leverage over the Russian government.

Russia joins North Korea and Iran in a list of countries that the state of New York avoids investing with or supporting companies headquartered there.

State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick said he planned to introduce a bill similar to Hochul’s executive order. He said New York shouldn’t do business with any state that violates international law.

Along with the order, Hochul said that Ukrainians are welcome to make New York their home.

“We now have nearly 400,000 refugees,” Hochul said. “We have said we will open our hearts, our homes, our resources to the people of Ukraine to say we stand with you. If you need a place to stay, you want to come over here, we will help you become integrated into our community as we have been open to so many other refugees in the past, including those from Afghanistan most recently.”

Hochul said New York has one of the largest Ukrainian populations in the U.S. and called them an important fabric to New York.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Sunday that he was putting his nuclear forces on high alert as a response to the “aggressive statements” from NATO-member nations and bans being placed on his county.

Natalie is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.