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► As The New York Times reports, there are growing signs that massive economic sanctions against Russia are causing significant damage.
Here in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis is leading a push to enact local sanctions on Russia as a result of that country’s invasion of Ukraine. Among the bigger moves, Colorado’s pension fund will pull millions in investments related to Russia. As Alex Burness reports for The Denver Post:
The state pension fund will divest $7.2 million from a Russian bank, officials with Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association confirmed Friday, as Russia continued its military assault on Ukraine.
The board controlling the fund does not, as a matter of policy, divest from companies for moral reasons unless the state legislature or federal government directs it to do so. This divestment comes as a result of a federal order meant to sanction Russia by hurting its economy.
Colorado’s pension fund has about $8 million invested in five Russian-owned companies, a spokesman said. The majority of that — $7.2 million, as of Thursday — is invested in the Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, which is a target of federal sanctions. Neither state nor federal officials have yet commanded divestment from any of the other Russian companies tied to Colorado: OGK-2, Gazprom, Mosenergo, and Rosneft Oil.
U.S. Department of the Treasury officials have given until May 25 to comply with the order that mentions Sberbank.
Meanwhile, as The Colorado Sun reports, former Republican Gov. Bill Owens forgot that lesson about the stones and the glass houses. Owens has publicly criticized President Biden as the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolds, but as the Sun notes:
Owens is the chairman of the supervisory board of the Credit Bank of Moscow, which has been barred by the Biden administration from issuing shares and debt in the U.S. after the Russian invasion of Ukraine…
…The Biden administration has issued sanctions against state-owned banks and financial institutions in Russia, including Sberbank, VTB Bank, Bank Otkritie, Sovcombank OJSC and Novikombank.
Credit Bank of Moscow is among “13 of the most critical major Russian enterprises and entities” slapped by the White House with new debt and equity restrictions.
Maybe just don’t talk about Russia right now, eh Woody?
► As the war in Ukraine escalates and world powers become more involved, there is concern that some blowback could be felt in the United States. 9News reports on worries about cyber security threats, while CBS4 Denver considers the local economic implications.
► This headline from Colorado Public Radio is a pretty clear summation of election-related legislation in Colorado:
Via Colorado Public Radio (2/28/22)
As Bente Birkeland reports for CPR:
The national partisan divide over voting policies is playing out in the halls of Colorado’s capitol this legislative session, with Republican lawmakers introducing some of the same policies their colleagues in other states have adopted, or are considering.
Colorado lawmakers in both parties have introduced close to a dozen bills so far this year dealing with how elections are conducted: everything from new candidate reporting requirements to restricting firearms near voting locations to measures some Republicans claim are needed to fight potential fraud.
While many of Colorado’s Republican leaders, including lawmakers, local officials and state party officers, have said they believe the 2020 presidential election was legitimate and want to move on to other issues, some of the GOP election bills this session have brought the issue to the forefront.
► Colorado caucuses kick off this week, with many taking place on Tuesday, March 1.
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