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Arkansas governor condemns attack on Ukraine, calls for review of state’s business ties

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | February 28, 2022 at 10:18 p.m.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson is shown in this file photo.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a release Monday night declared his “unambiguous condemnation” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with a directive to review whether the state has business contracts with Russia and calling for “special days of prayer” for Ukraine.

In a letter to his 15 cabinet secretaries, Arkansas’ governor called for a review of all state departments to see if “any contracts or agreements between Arkansas, the Russian Federation, or other Russian entities exist.”

He condemned Russian attacks “on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as plans for the assassination of Ukrainian leaders.”

“These actions are not only illegal but are wholly unacceptable,” Hutchinson wrote. “Although Arkansas’s economic ties with Russia are limited, I want to make sure that we as a state are not indirectly supporting Russian aggression through its economy. I am transparent and unequivocal in my condemnation of these actions.”

Hutchinson also called for continued “economic and political pressure” from the international community.

“The people of Ukraine are proving to the world that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to defend their country, their families, and their liberties from Russian aggression,” the letter read. “We must do everything we can to ensure that [Vladimir] Putin and his enablers pay for their actions.”

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission reports there are no Russian-owned or Ukrainian-owned companies in Arkansas. In 2021, Arkansas imports from Russia totaled $8.1 million and exports totaled $64 million. In 2021, Arkansas imports from Ukraine totaled $2 million and exports totaled $455,361.

Hutchinson also declared Tuesday through Thursday as “Special Days of Prayer for Ukraine in Arkansas.” A prayer dedicated to the citizens of Ukraine will be said Thursday at the Arkansas Leadership Prayer Breakfast.


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