HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Governor Tom Wolf, Ukrainian business leaders and allies discussed the commonwealth’s latest efforts to support Ukraine and to cut ties with Russia on Monday.
In recent years, Pennsylvania has not only deepened business connections with Ukraine itself, but has also provided opportunities for Ukrainian businesses to thrive here in the commonwealth.
In fact, Pennsylvania is home to over 120,000 Ukrainian-Americans, the second highest in the United States.
During a press conference this afternoon, Gov. Wolf reiterated his support for the people of Ukraine, as well as their relatives and loved-ones living here in Pennsylvania.
“Frances and I have been watching the news and seeing the devastation being inflicted on the people of Ukraine. It is abundantly clear that the people of Ukraine are strong and united as a nation, but it is heartbreaking that they have been forced into this war – and forced to endure the loss, destruction and death that war brings – by Russia,” said Gov. Wolf. “Pennsylvania stands with Ukraine. I will do everything in my power to ensure Pennsylvania’s support of Ukraine and also sever ties with Russia,” he added.
Almost two weeks after Russia first launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine, Pennsylvania continues to divest and cut ties from Russia.
Just over a week ago, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) instructed all Fine Wine and Good Spirit stores to remove Russian-made products from their shelves.
More recently, Gov. Wolf urged both the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and the Public-School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) to divest any public pension funds from investments connected to Russia.
Wolf continues to direct all agencies under his jurisdiction to make sure there are no state contracts affiliated with Russia. He says his administration is also actively looking into additional actions to sever Russian ties.
“For example, I strongly support adding Russia to the list of countries we divest from- under law. And I would sign clean legislation to require divestment of all public funds from Russian assets, such as the concept recently announced by House Leader Kerry Benninghoff,” said Gov. Wolf.
House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) is expected to address policies to divest from Russia and promote Pennsylvania energy production tomorrow morning with fellow House Republicans.
Wolf said today the commonwealth is ready to do more than just cut-off Russia. He says it’s ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.
“Our commonwealth stands ready to welcome refugees from Ukraine and to help all those fleeing violence find safety here in Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Wolf.
Wolf also called for legislation to provide $2 million to support Ukrainian refugees who may come to Pennsylvania.
“I also urge the General Assembly to provide $2 million to the Office of Refugee Resettlement to help support Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war,” said Gov. Wolf. “That funding would allow us to support community-based resettlement agencies across the commonwealth as they provide services to Ukrainian refugees.”
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