Murphy orders state agencies to review interactions with Russia

Governor Phil Murphy yesterday issued an executive order directing all state agencies to “review their authority to suspend or revoke the licenses, permits, registrations and certifications” of companies controlled by or strongly connected to the Russian government, which launched last week an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“New Jersey stands with the people of Ukraine and the freely elected government of Ukraine in their defense against Vladimir Putin’s aggression and brutal invasion of their sovereign territory,” Murphy said. “Our administration will immediately undertake a review of what we can do at the state level to increase financial pressure on the undemocratic regime in Moscow and sever all state ties with the Russian government or its affiliates.”

The directive is similar in spirit to a bill proposed by State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) banning state entities from doing business with Russia; The law project Advanced by the Senate Budget Committee earlier this week and is almost certain to go through the entire Senate today, but it still has to go through the Assembly before it can become law.

“I appreciate the advanced steps the governor is taking to implement the tough sanctions against investments from Russia and Belarus that are detailed in my legislation,” Sarlo said. “The governor’s preliminary work through this executive order will not waste time while my legislation moves through the Legislature in an expedited manner.”

In addition to limiting state interaction with Russia and Russian-backed companies, Murphy stressed the importance of protect the Ukrainian American communityand sent a letter to President Joe Biden yesterday affirming New Jersey’s willingness to take in Ukrainian refugees.

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