Gov. Phil Murphy reiterated his support for the Ukrainian people today amid the ongoing Russian invasion, and laid out a number of steps he is taking or planning to take to sever New Jersey’s ties with the Russian government and Russian companies.
“We stand with the people of Ukraine unwaveringly,” Murphy said. “We will stand with them to the end, and I hope the end is a peaceful one and that it comes soon.”
The governor also repeated his disdain for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the chief force behind the war in Ukraine and whom Murphy called a “bad, bad, bad dude” shortly before the invasion began.
“I cannot resist the moment to call out the thug, Vladimir Putin, and his kleptocracy,” he said. “This is a war of choice, this is insanity – [he is an] absolute animal, and deserves the condemnation the world needs to bring down on him.”
Yesterday, Murphy signed an executive order directing state agencies to review their interactions with Russian companies, and he said today he supports State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge)’s bill to ban state entities from conducting business with Russia or Russian-backed companies.
Asked whether he himself has any ties to Russia via his stock portfolio, which he put in a blind trust at the beginning of his first term as governor, Murphy said no.
With the sanctions likely to pass the full legislature soon, Murphy added that he is looking at more actions the state can take. Among the issues he stressed are Ukrainian refugees, whom Murphy said he would welcome to the state, and affordability of Russian-tied goods like gas.
“We’re looking at everything right now,” Murphy said. “We’re going to continue to try to figure out any steps we can take, including happily accepting refugees and all that would go with that.”