Briefline

Polis imposes Colorado sanctions against Russia, orders termination of contracts with Russian-owned companies

By: - February 24, 2022 5:58 pm

A crowd made up of mostly Ukrainian Americans gathered on Feb. 24, 2022, at the Colorado Capitol to show solidarity with Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion. (Sara Wilson/Colorado Newsline)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday that directs his administration to review whether any relevant state contracts are with Russian state-owned companies and then end any such contracts.

“​​Ruthless dictator Vladimir Putin’s Russian military aggression in Ukraine violates the freedoms we uphold in our nation and support around the globe. Colorado stands on the side of freedom. War, violence, and chaos threaten the very foundations of the global economy and our national security. I assure Ukrainians that they have the support and prayers of our state,” Polis said in a statement released earlier Thursday condemning the violence.

It’s unclear if any state contracts are actually with Russian state-owned companies.

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The executive order, issued in response to a broad Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, also directs the state’s information technology department to identify and protect the state’s critical infrastructure from cyberattacks or misinformation efforts from Russia.

In addition, Polis said he will urge colleges to reconsider any projects they have with Russia and remove Russian assets from their endowments. He will also remove Colorado from the coverage of the Russian consular office in Houston. The Biden administration has imposed federal sanctions on Russia.

Polis, like some other elected leaders, used the continued Russian aggression to focus on the United States’ energy future.

“I join leaders of our federal delegation in urging Congress to immediately suspend the federal gas tax and double down on a rapid clean energy transition to ensure that our energy future cannot be tied to geopolitical conflicts and global commodities,” he said in the statement.

Polis also plans to write to the State Department and Ukrainian ambassador that Colorado will welcome refugees. According to the executive order text, Colorado has accepted 270 refugees from Ukraine over the past decade.

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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.

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