Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticized US mayors for maintaining sister-city ties with Russia, which, according to the Ukrainian leader, allows Moscow to say it is not “isolated.”
“What do those ties give to you? Probably noth-ing. But they allow Russia to say that it is not iso-lated,” Zelenskyy said at the 90th annual meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in Reno, Nevada, as quoted by the New York Times.
In particular, Zelenskyy criticized Chicago, Jacksonville, Portland, San Diego and San Jose for maintaining the so-called sister-city relations with Russia, saying that these ties should be cut off, the report said.
He also called on the conference participants to abandon all relations with Russia and not to make “any excuses,” according to the report.
Chicago has suspended its sister-city relation with Moscow, established in 1997, and San Jose, which has ties with Russia’s Yekaterinburg, decided to maintain them. To date, websites listing the sister-city programs in Portland, San Diego and Jack-sonville, continue to include Russian partners.
Earlier in April, Sister Cities International (SCI) Chairman Emeritus Bill Boerum told Sputnik that many regions in the US decided to follow the rec-ommendations issued by the SCI to maintain coop-eration with their partners in Russia on a people-to-people level despite the current political tensions between the two countries.
The SCI is a US-based global organization that has established more than 2,000 partnerships be-tween cities in 146 countries. About 60 Russian and 70 US cities have so-called “sister relations.”—APP