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

March 1, 2022 at 6:55 a.m.
In this April 27, 2020 file photo, Gov. Asa Hutchinson takes off his Arkansas Razorbacks facemask as he arrives for the daily coronavirus briefing at the state Capitol in Little Rock.

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 Russia's 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 in his letter to Cabinet secretaries.

"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," he continued. "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 to Cabinet secretaries 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 today 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.

Print Headline: Governor seeks review of Russia business ties


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