RENO, New York – Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, in a video address to a meeting of U.S. mayors on Friday, called for several American cities to be sister cities in Russia.
Mr. Zelensky, who addressed a gathering of mayors shortly after Vice President Kamala Harris, criticized Chicago. Jacksonville, Phil. Portland, Ore. To maintain sister-city relations in San Diego and San Jose, California, Russia. He said that these relations should be severed.
“What will those relationships give you? Probably nothing,” said Mr. Zelensky. “But they allow Russia to say it is not isolated.”
Chicago announced earlier this year that it was. SuspendedBut did not end permanently, with his sister city relationship Moscow, Which has been in existence since 1997. Local outlets in San Jose Reported City leaders made the decision earlier this year. To maintain Ekaterinburg, a sister city relationship with Russia. By Friday, websites for sister city programs Portland, San Diego And Jacksonville The list of Russian partners continued.
Many American municipalities have sister city relations in many countries. Although partnerships can involve business and political exchanges, relationships are mostly symbolic and are sometimes managed by local nonprofits.
But Mr Zelensky, who spoke to the mayors 100 days after the Russian invasion, said it was wrong to give Russia even the slightest credit.
“Don’t make excuses; don’t maintain relations with Russia,” said Mr Zelensky, whose speech drew applause from mayors and city employees gathered in Reno, New York. “
Authorities in Portland cited a statement from Sister Cities International urging cities not to sever ties with their Russian partners. Officials in other U.S. cities named by Mr. Zelensky did not immediately respond to requests for comment.