Money talks — and Ukrainian official wants Texans to cut financial ties to Russia
Consul General of Ukraine Vitalii Tarasiuk has a very simple request for Texas elected officials: stop investing in Russia. On Monday, he was in Dallas to deliver that message.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks its fifth week, Tarasiuk said increasing sanctions would put more pressure on Russia to end the war as he spoke from the Flag Room at Dallas City Hall.
"Ukraine is living through this dark hour right now, but light will always prevailed darkness. And Ukraine, together with our friends and partners across the whole world and such leaders as Mayor [Eric] Johnson, we will overcome and will win this fight for freedom and democracy in the whole world,” he said.
Tarasiuk asked North Texas companies to cut financial ties with Russia. He mentioned Irving-based Kimberly-Clark Corp., which produces Huggies diapers, has cut future ties with Russian, but he is hoping to convince the company to stop all investments.
Dallas city council members approved banning city contracts with groups connected to the Russian regime earlier this month. The resolution included cutting off the city’s relationship with the Russian city of Saratov and supporting the coalition of nations imposing sanctions on Russia.
Johnson said the council is doing everything they can to encourage the business community to stand with the people of Ukraine.
“[The war] has ramifications for freedom and democracy around the world, and we're not going to sit idly by while our friends in Ukraine endure this. We want them to know that we stand with them,” Johnson said.
More than 15,000 Ukrainians call Texas home and about a third live in Dallas-Fort Worth, according to the U.S. Census.
The City of Dallas currently does not have any investments in Russia or own any assets in that country, according to officials. But pension funds in retirement benefits for city employees have at least $7 million of investments linked to Russia, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Tarasiuk said he visited the St. Sophia Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church on Sunday.
“I spoke to the community. They feel the support of the city here. And they're doing a great job in collecting humanitarian assistance and sending it to Ukraine," Tarasiuk said.
Tarasiuk is asking for military and humanitarian assistance.
President Biden has announced the U.S. is ready to welcome 100,000 Ukrainians with open arms. An estimated 12,000 Ukrainian refugees will resettle throughout Texas. And the U.S. is providing hundreds of millions in military aid.
Tarasiuk said local nonprofits and resettlement agencies are gearing up to help Ukrainians and provide shelter.
He also looked to the future.
“After Ukraine wins this war, there will be plenty of opportunities of doing business together. There'll be the need to reconstruct to rebuild the country, and we would very much welcome all of the companies from Texas, from Dallas, to actively participate in this reconstruction process,” he said.
Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member for KERA News. Email Alejandra at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.
KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.