Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is "strongly" encouraging Minnesotans to stop supporting Russian-based businesses and institutions to show their support for Ukrainians.
The Democratic governor on Friday issued Executive Order 22-03, calling Russia's aggression against Ukraine that began Feb. 24 when Russian President Vladimir Putin directed military forces to attack Ukraine "unprovoked and unlawful."
The Executive Order requires all Minnesota state agencies to review their existing contracts – noting that state agencies are "significant purchasers of goods and services" – to determine if they have any existing contracts with institutions or companies that are headquartered in Russia, or have a principal place of business in Russia.
If state agencies have contracts with any Russian entities, they must terminate them "as practicable" and "refrain from entering into contracts" with any Russian entities unless "the head of the state agency determines that there is no suitable alternative."
Gov. Walz says this will "ensure" that Minnesota "does not aid the Russian government's aggression against Ukraine."
The Executive Order also strongly encourages people, companies, and organizations to end contracts with Russian entities and avoid any future contracts with them.
“Minnesota stands firmly with Ukraine and strongly condemns the Russian government’s actions,” Walz said. "... I encourage other individuals, companies, and organizations to stand with their Ukrainian neighbors and end support to Russian entities.
"I also urge Minnesotans to support our fellow Russian Minnesotans, many of whom are horrified and alarmed by the Russian government’s aggression toward Ukraine," Walz added.
The Executive Over goes into effect in 15 days and will remain in effect until rescinded or expires in accordance with state law.
Walz says his Executive Order comes after President Joe Biden announced "significant sanctions" against Russia. Among the sanctions:
- Cutting off Russian financial institutions' access to global banking systems
- Disallowing certain technology exports to key Russian sectors
- Barring Russian state-owned companies from raising money in United States markets
The United States on Thursday announced additional sanctions that target Russian oligarchs and their family members who are supporting Putin as he continues the war against Ukraine.