HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed this week that Pennsylvania stands with Ukraine and he vowed to continue to take actions to support the country as it courageously endures a horrific, unjust invasion by Russia. The governor highlighted the steps he immediately took to sanction Russia, his support for fully divesting financially from Russia, and the commonwealth’s open arms to Ukrainians fleeing conflict.
“Frances and I have been watching the news and seeing the devastation being inflicted on the people of Ukraine. It is abundantly clear that the people of Ukraine are strong and united as a nation, but it is heartbreaking that they have been forced into this war – and forced to endure the loss, destruction and death that war brings – by Russia,” Gov. Wolf said. “The people of Ukraine have shown immense courage and bravery, which should have never been necessary. Pennsylvania stands with Ukraine. I will do everything in my power to ensure Pennsylvania’s support of Ukraine and also sever ties with Russia.”
Pennsylvania is home to more than 122,000 Ukrainians, the second most of any U.S. state.
“I sincerely thank the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and personally, Governor Wolf, for taking the lead in adopting such a strong response to Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine and terror against the entire world,” said Honorary Consulate of Ukraine in Philadelphia Iryna Mazur. “Pennsylvania sends a strong message of support to Ukraine by full divestment of any public funds from Russia. The entire Ukrainian American community of the commonwealth is enormously grateful for the display of such a level of support for Ukraine.”
In recent years, Pennsylvania has deepened business connections with Ukraine. With support from Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development under the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), businesses from Ukraine have chosen to make Pennsylvania home.
Ukraine has grown world-class businesses in sectors as diverse as IT, food production, and concrete pavers.
DCED began actively reaching out to its business community because the Department stated that it saw an opportunity for Pennsylvania to help Ukrainian businesses expand into the US market.
“During the past year, we worked with the local Chamber of Commerce in Lviv and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine on a webinar for companies in Kyiv and actively engaged the Ukrainian business community about trade and investment opportunities in Pennsylvania,” said David Briel, Deputy Secretary of DCED’s Office of International Business Development. “The commonwealth has the second largest Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American population in the U.S. Pennsylvania also shares many historical commonalities with Ukraine, including a well-developed industrial base, highly-trained workforce, and rich farmlands.”
“Today, Ukraine is fighting a war not for their independence but a war for the whole democratic world; fighting alone and does phenomenal success in fighting against the Russian terror,” said Viktor Kolesnyk, managing director of Orange Pavers, a concrete pavers and stone products manufacturing facility located in Stroudsburg, Monroe County. “I would like to thank Governor Wolf and his team for supporting all the people of Ukraine and for doing every possible effort to isolate Russia and Russian businesses on US ground.”
Pennsylvania stands ready to support Ukrainians fleeing their country and would welcome them here in the commonwealth.
“I have repeatedly joined with President Biden and other leaders across the globe to condemn the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and we have and will continue to take real, meaningful actions to support Ukraine,” Gov. Wolf said. “I strongly support adding Russia to the list of countries we divest from under law. Pennsylvania also stands ready to accept Ukrainians fleeing violence. You are safe and welcome here.”
The governor supports clean legislation to add Russia to the list of countries that Pennsylvania divests all public funds from under law, such as the concept recently announced by House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff.
The governor also supports legislation providing $2 million in state funds to provide fast, flexible support for Ukrainians fleeing conflict who may come to Pennsylvania.
From day one, Gov. Wolf has stood with Ukraine and states he will continue to do everything in his power to support the country and its people.
Pennsylvania is one of the largest purchasers of liquor in the United States, and Gov. Wolf was one of the first governors to urge a stop on the sale of Russian-made liquor in state stores, which was quickly acted upon.
Gov. Wolf applauded Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity for her commitment to divest state investments from Russian companies.
At the governor’s direction, agencies under his jurisdiction are reviewing contracts to ensure there are no contracts with Russia.
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