New York says ‘nyet’ to business with Russian entities over Ukraine war

Governor Hochul holds a press conference in Albany on Feb. 27.
Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

If you can make it here, you’ll not support Putin anywhere!

New York State will stop doing business with Russian entities, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Sunday, as she condemned the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Hochul signed an executive order ceasing state purchases and investments from companies headquartered in Russia or backed by the Russian state for as long as Washington imposes sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

“We strongly condemn the action of Putin and Russia for this unprovoked attack, which is now leading to atrocities against innocent human beings,” Hochul said during a press conference in Albany on Feb. 27.

New York State is home to the largest Ukrainian population in the country, and Hochul said Putin’s war was an attack on the Empire State as well.

“These are our fellow brothers and sisters,” Hochul said. “We worship with them, we go to restaurants with them, we celebrate their cultural festivals — they are an important part of the fabric of New York State.”

“So an attack on their country is truly an attack on all of us,” the governor added.

New York’s economy is the 10th largest in the world — bigger than Russia’s, Hochul pointed out — giving her “unique power” to target Russia with sanctions.

Some politicians like Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine have pushed to go further by seizing assets owned by Russian oligarchs in the city, such as real estate, and Hochul said she was “looking at all of our options,” when asked by amNewYork Metro whether she supported such moves.

“We are certainly looking at all of our options, is what I’ll tell you,” the governor said. “If there’s an action to be taken, you’ll certainly know about it, but the individuals who are targeted will know beforehand.”

The state’s chief executive has been in talks with finance bigwigs on whether there’s a good way to target Russian fat cats and their wealth in the Big Apple, she said.

“We are actually in conversation with our leaders of our banking community and other places we can have an impact,” she said.

“I’m not going to squander the fact that the state of New York has a larger economy than Russia, and what we do will hopefully have an impact collectively with what President Biden’s doing,” so Hochul.

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