Inslee directive bans state contracts with Russian government entities

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Gov. Jay Inslee today issued a directive to cabinet agencies that bans new contracts and investments with Russian state entities, and charges agencies with identifying and ultimately cutting existing contracts that may exist. The directive follows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine that began Feb. 23.

"This invasion, which continues, has resulted in grievous loss of life among Ukrainian military personnel and civilians, and it has sparked an historic refugee crisis with global impacts—including for Washington state's large Ukrainian, Russian, and other Eastern European communities," Inslee wrote in the directive. "Virtually the entire world, including governments, businesses, and ordinary citizens, have united in condemnation of this unjust invasion, resulting in unprecedented economic sanctions upon Russian state institutions and leaders.

"As the world responds to this crisis with humanitarian and military aid, Washington State must also do its part in this common effort."

The directive targets any potential contracts or investments with Russian government agencies, or with companies that are, to any extent, Russian-state-owned, or with entities or individuals sanctioned by the United States government in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Information regarding U.S. government sanctions against Russia can be found on the websites of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Current estimates are not yet available regarding current or planned contracts or procurements with Russian entities. Additional actions may be announced as events warrant.

The directive, effective immediately, also instructs state agencies to refrain from entering into new contracts or investments with the same entities subject to federal sanctions. Each agency's initial review and summary is due to the governor's general counsel no later than March 18. After reviewing each agency's findings, the governor's office will provide further guidance.

The Washington State Investment Board, an independent board that oversees the state’s retirement and public trust investments, is also taking steps to restrict purchasing of Russian investments. The WSIB reports less than $100 million of investment exposure to Russia, which is less than 0.10 percent of WSIB’s total assets. Inslee’s directive invites public agencies like the State Investment Board, as well as separately elected officials and private organizations, to conduct similar review of their operations.

Read the full directive here.

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