JCRC Applauds Signing of Minnesota’s Russia Sanctions Statute

Luda Anastazievsky of Minnesota’s Ukrainian Advocacy Committee hugging JCRC executive director Steve Hunegs at the Minnesota State Capitol Building. (Ethan Roberts Photography/JCRC)

Minnesota becomes 2nd state to pass Russia divestment legislation

April 2, 2022

Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) applauds Governor Tim Walz and a strong bi-partisan, bicameral coalition of legislators for approving a law to sanction Russia and Belarus. With Governor Walz’s signature on Friday, Minnesota became the second state to divest from Russia and Belarus, as well as bar state contracts, through legislation and the third overall.

“This is only the fourth time in Minnesota history that our state sanctioned a foreign government for egregious conduct. Given that this extraordinary measure is so seldomly used it is fitting that the vote in both the House and the Senate was unanimous.

“We are under no illusions that this law will by itself force Putin to abandon his reprehensible and completely unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, a peaceful nation which poses no threat to Russia. Still, we are proud that Minnesota is joining the federal government, countries around the world, a significant number of private sector businesses and nonprofits, as well as a growing number of states in sanctioning Russia and Belarus.

“As always, passing any bill into law is never easy and requires strong lead authors in the House and Senate. Thank you to Representative Sydney Jordan and Senator Karin Housley who were with us every step of the way from the bill’s drafting, introductory press conference, revision, passage through various committees, and ultimately unanimous approval on the floors of the House and Senate. A bill, however, cannot secure unanimous support without the active support of the minority caucuses and so we are also grateful to our lead House GOP and Senate DFL authors Representative Anne Neu Brindley, Representative Jim Nash, Senate Minority Leader Melisa Franzen, and Senator Kari Dziedzic for their strong leadership as well.

“We are also appreciative of the leadership for all four caucuses who strongly supported our bill, the nonpartisan and partisan staff who worked over multiple weekends on the bill, the professional staff of the State Board of Investment for their guidance, and to Representative Mike Nelson, Rena Moran, and Senator Mary Kiffmeyer for their support and ensuring the bill was expeditiously heard in their committees.

“Finally, the JCRC is tremendously proud of our partnership with Minnesota’s Ukrainian Advocacy Committee, bravely led by its indefatigable chair Luda Anastazievsky, in passing this legislation so swiftly. We look forward to many future partnerships with our new friends.”


As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.


As the consensus public affairs voice of the Jewish community, JCRC builds relationships to fight antisemitism and bigotry; educates about Judaism, Israel, antisemitism, and the Holocaust; advocates for Jewish values and priorities; and safeguards our community.