New Jersey lawmaker wants to ban New Jersey businesses from deals with Russian companies

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FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin meets with members of the Delovaya Rossiya All-Russian Public Organization in Moscow

TRENTON, NJ – In 2012, former U.S. President Barack Obama mocked his Republican presidential opponent Mitt Romney who then said Russia is America’s biggest national security threat.

“The 1980s called and want their foreign policy back,” Obama joked.

His Vice President, Joe Biden followed suit mocking Republicans for fear-mongering over Cold War-era politics.

Now, it’s the Democrats leading the charge against Vladimir Putin and Russia after the former Soviet agent ordered his forces to invade Ukraine.

Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D) today said he will introduce legislation to cut off public investments and other financial agreements with Russia or any businesses with Russian interests.

“Russia’s unjustified attack of Ukraine is an assault on democracy that demands a response that sends a clear message that these actions will have consequences,” said Senator Sarlo. “They violated the sovereignty of another country with complete disregard for the lives of innocent people. This demands a response by everyone who respects freedom and values human rights.” 

The bill Senator Sarlo will introduce would essentially ban any New Jersey public entity from doing business with the Russian government or any business or financial institution with Russian interests. It would include pension investments, public contracts, professional services, deals with Russian financial institutions, and tax abatements for companies with ties to Russia.

“The Russian government and oligarchs who profit off their ties to the Putin regime are known for the way they move their money around to camouflage its sources,” said Senator Sarlo. “Cutting off all avenues of investments and finances in New Jersey and other states will reinforce the international sanctions being led by the United States. I hope to see other states take similar actions.”