RENO, Nev. — President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine referred to as out a number of American cities for having sister cities in Russia throughout a video tackle to america Convention of Mayors assembly on Friday.
Mr. Zelensky, who spoke to the gathering of mayors simply after Vice President Kamala Harris, criticized Chicago; Jacksonville, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; San Diego and San Jose, Calif., for sustaining sister-city ties in Russia. He stated these relationships needs to be severed.
“What do these ties to offer to you? Most likely nothing,” Mr. Zelensky stated. “However they permit Russia to say that it isn’t remoted.”
Chicago introduced earlier this 12 months that it was suspending, however not completely ending, its sister-city relationship with Moscow, which had been in place since 1997. Native shops in San Jose reported earlier this 12 months that metropolis leaders determined to keep a sister-city relationship with Ekaterinburg, Russia. As of Friday, web sites for the sister-city applications in Portland, San Diego and Jacksonville continued to record Russian companions.
Many American municipalities have sister-city relationships in a number of international locations. Although the partnerships can embody enterprise and political exchanges, the relationships are largely symbolic and are generally administered by native nonprofit organizations.
However Mr. Zelensky, who spoke to the mayors 100 days after Russia invaded his nation, stated it was fallacious to offer Russia even the smallest little bit of added credibility.
“Don’t make any excuses; don’t keep relations with Russia,” stated Mr. Zelensky, whose speech obtained applause from the mayors and metropolis workers who had gathered in Reno, Nev. “And please don’t let those that turned murderers name your cities their sister cities.”
Officers in Portland referred to a press release from Sister Cities Worldwide urging cities to not sever ties with their Russian companions. Officers within the different American cities that Mr. Zelensky named didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.