The governor also said New York will welcome Ukrainian refugees in response to Russia’s invasion, noting at a press conference in Albany that her state is home to the largest Ukrainian population in the United States.
“We have said we’ll open up our hearts, our homes, our resources to the people of the Ukraine, to say, ‘We stand with you,’” Hochul said. Federal estimates show that around 140,000 of the more than 1 million people in the United States who report Ukrainian ancestry live in New York.
“If you need a place to stay, you want to come over here, we will help you become integrated into our community,” she said, “as we have been open so to so many other refugees in the past, including those from Afghanistan most recently.”
Hochul didn’t immediately get into specifics regarding her state’s economic sanctions against Moscow—including how much the state has invested in Russian entities—but pointed out that New York’s economy is larger than that of Russia.
The governor’s executive order means the state “will not permit its own investment activity, whether directly or indirectly, to aid Russia as it commits these human rights violations and atrocities.”
Ukraine filed a case at the United Nations’ highest court accusing Russia of planning genocide.
“We strongly condemn the action of Putin and Russia for this unprovoked attack which is now leading to atrocities against innocent human beings, and that is not tolerable,” Hochul said.
New York’s sanctions follow those issued by President Joe Biden last week targeting Russia’s financial system. Biden said the United States will block assets of large Russian banks, impose export controls aimed at the nation’s high-tech needs and sanction its business oligarchs.
It was not immediately known how much money the sanctions could represent, but Hochul said she wants state agencies to review contracts and assets to be sure that taxpayer money isn’t being used to indirectly fund Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.
Hochul ordered state agencies to divest money and assets from investments in companies or institutions determined to be a “Russian or supporting entity.” And she forbid the state from doing business with such entities.
The executive order defined a supporting entity as any institution or company that is aiding Russia in its war against the Ukraine.
By Bobby Caina Calvan