RENO, Nev. — President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine known as out a number of American cities for having sister cities in Russia throughout a video deal with to the United States Conference 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 ought to be severed.
“What do those ties give to you? Probably nothing,” Mr. Zelensky stated. “But they allow Russia to say that it is not isolated.”
Chicago introduced earlier this yr that it was suspending, however not completely ending, its sister-city relationship with Moscow, which had been in place since 1997. Local shops in San Jose reported earlier this yr that metropolis leaders determined to maintain a sister-city relationship with Ekaterinburg, Russia. As of Friday, web sites for the sister-city packages in Portland, San Diego and Jacksonville continued to record Russian companions.
Many American municipalities have sister-city relationships in a number of international locations. Though the partnerships can embody enterprise and political exchanges, the relationships are largely symbolic and are typically administered by native nonprofit organizations.
But Mr. Zelensky, who spoke to the mayors 100 days after Russia invaded his nation, stated it was mistaken to give Russia even the smallest little bit of added credibility.
“Don’t make any excuses; don’t maintain 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 who became murderers call your cities their sister cities.”
Officials in Portland referred to a press release from Sister Cities International urging cities not to sever ties with their Russian companions. Officials within the different American cities that Mr. Zelensky named didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.