Governor Polis Announces New State Actions in Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Thursday, February 24, 2022

DENVER— Governor Jared Polis announced new state actions in response to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. Earlier today, Governor Polis condemned Putin and urged Congress to immediately suspend the federal gas tax and double down on a rapid clean energy transition to ensure that our energy future cannot be tied to geopolitical conflicts and global commodities. Colorado is home to 11,000 Ukrainians. 

“Colorado will not stand for this attack on freedom and democracy. Our country must make Putin pay and continue to use our economic power to push back on Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine. Today, my administration outlined how Colorado will welcome Ukrainian refugees, divest from any potential Russian state-owned assets, urge higher education institutions to review and reconsider any grants or projects they have with Russia and divest endowments from Russian owned assets while evaluating and terminating any state contracts with Kremlin owned entities. We will also be removing Colorado from the coverage of the Russian consular office in Houston,” said Governor Polis.

Governor Polis plans to write to the State Department as well as the Ukrainian ambassador, informing them that Colorado is ready to welcome refugees and is prepared to provide any support we can. The Polis administration began the New American Initiative in November 2019 to help the state address barriers to immigrant integration in Colorado.

The Polis administration is also looking across the state government to ensure that agencies are in no way supporting the Russian government and that the State is barring any influence of the Russian government or Russian state-backed interests in the State wherever possible for this extreme act of aggression.  

Today, Governor Polis signed an Executive Order directing the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) to review relevant State contracts to determine if any are with Russian state-owned companies directly or as subcontractors. The Executive Order also directs state agencies to work to terminate such contracts if Russian state-owned companies are found to be contractors or subcontractors; and ensure that future procurement efforts analyze any possible connections with Russian state-owned companies or Russian state-owned companies. 

The Governor’s Order further directs the Executive Director of OIT to identify and focus resources on protecting the state’s critical infrastructure from Russian cyber attacks or misinformation efforts. The Governor's Executive Order directs the Office of New Americans to continue and enhance interagency and collaborative efforts to support Ukrainian-born Coloradans and those who are fleeing this conflict, including but not limited to exploring all options for housing, opportunities for future state employment, and access to resources.