ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland is terminating its decades-long relationship with Russia's Leningrad region, announced Gov. Larry Hogan's office today.
Hogan directed the Secretary of State over the weekend to sever Maryland's 1993 sister-state relationship with the region, said spokesperson Kata Hall Burke.
Hogan made the move right as Maryland Senate Pres. Bill Ferguson announced he was planning a senate resolution to do the same.
Tonight, I am introducing a Senate Resolution calling on @GovLarryHogan and Secretary of State Wobensmith to immediately and formally renounce sister state status between the State of Maryland and St. Petersburg of the Leningrad region of Russia. pic.twitter.com/ii6NBmSUSd— Bill Ferguson (@SenBillFerg) February 28, 2022
"Having witnessed the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, I am obliged to immediately dissolve and terminate Maryland's partnership with the Leningrad Region," Hogan said in the letter to Leningrad Region Governor Aleksandr Drozdenko.
Over the weekend, Governor Hogan directed the Secretary of State to terminate Maryland's 1993 sister state relationship with the Leningrad Region of Russia.— Kata Hall Burke (@katadhall) February 28, 2022
Here is the formal termination letter: pic.twitter.com/vL0Xwie3wP
The governor said the agreement was originally signed with the purpose of engaging in mutual exchange, and the goal was "to promote peace and prosperity between communities via local governments."
The Leningrad Region covers the outskirts of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), Russia's second-largest city.
Hogan also urged the trustees of the state's retirement and pension system to divest from any support of Russia.
Yesterday, Governor Hogan sent a letter to the trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System calling on them to "take immediate divestment actions with regards to any investments, securities, or holdings with Russian or Russia-affiliated entities." pic.twitter.com/oBlwQCYcIZ— Kata Hall Burke (@katadhall) March 1, 2022
Local leaders including Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott have also condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and supported local Ukrainian communities.