Washington state agencies have been directed to identify and cancel commercial or other connections with Russian entities, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday during a press conference.
“Simply put, the people of Washington stand with the people of Ukraine,” said Inslee. “We stand with the people of Russia who are protesting this vicious, malicious, totally unjustified act of violence.”
All state agencies must conduct an inventory to identify ties to Russian institutions or “significant Russian companies” in order to terminate those investments and contracts and not to allow contracts in the works to move forward, the governor announced.
“The entire world needs to be united in this regard,” said Inslee. “I think everyone who understands the blessings of democracy ought to give thought to disassociating themselves with Russian entities at this time.”
The governor said he believes Putin has abused the dignity of the people in Ukraine, and the international community’s ability to feel like “democracy will remain a permanent value system of civilization as we know it.”
Large and small companies committing to join the effort are supported by the governor, he said, and he encouraged private businesses to follow the state’s lead. He acknowledged the actions may cause inconveniences, but the defense of democracy has “justified” that inconvenience.
“It is much better to have early, strong economic sanctions than it is to have delayed warfare,” said Inslee. “I will stand for any sanction that our federal government would like to visit upon Vladimir Putin. If our state can put one brick in the wall around Putin, it’ll be a good thing and we intend to do all we can in that regard.”
The announcement from Inslee comes after several other states have announced moves to take action against Russia.
Inslee said he is passionate about the protection of Ukraine’s democracy because he said democracy has been under attack in the U.S. as well, noting the Jan. 6 insurrection.