Municipalities around the United States are urging their local officials to suspend ties with their respective Russian Sister cities in response to the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is joining the effort to call for suspension of these ties and urging Americans to reach out to support this campaign. Already, cities such as Chicago, Charlotte, and Colorado Springs have all suspended their respective Russia relationships in support of Ukraine. It highlights the ongoing overwhelming worldwide condemnation of Russia’s aggression and unanimous support for Ukraine.
Russian forces launched their massive, renewed offensive against Ukraine on February 24 and have since inflicted immense suffering on the Ukrainian people. As the conflict rages on, organizations around the world have increasingly begun to distance themselves from Russia. Karl Altau, Managing Director of JBANC, believes the sister city campaign is an integral symbol of this larger fight, as “It sends a message that Americans are united in supporting Ukraine’s enduring independence and territorial sovereignty.”
There currently exist seventy such relationships between the United States and Russian cities and towns. Sister City relationships involve an agreement between two geographically and politically distinct localities for the purpose of promoting cross-cultural cooperation. As the conflict intensifies, it will become even more important for Americans to demonstrate their commitment to democratic values and human rights, as well as to the sovereignty of Ukraine and our Ukrainian friends and partners. This movement represents a key step in this effort.
How can you participate in this?
We are providing online resources for reaching out to Sister Cities in the United States that have ties to Russia. Please find a sample letter, a sample email, and a list of the cities here!
While we do our best to equip you with all the necessary materials and latest information to reach out to your local authorities, the status of these relationships is changing day by day. We kindly ask each of you to do a little research on your own before sending out the letters in case the ties have already been cut.
We also urge you to thank those cities for being proactive in already suspending their Sister City ties.