DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis has acted quickly to minimize Russian influence across Colorado by signing an executive order condemning Russia’s invasive actions in Ukraine.
The executive order signed Thursday includes a call for Colorado’s governmental agencies and citizenry to respond with condemnation to the ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe, where Russia appears to be attempting to reclaim territory lost during the collapse of the former Soviet Union through the use of invasion tactics not seen in Europe since World War II.
The aggressing nation and its citizens, guided by Vladamir Putin, are now the target of various sanctions imposed by Polis, President Joe Biden and other European leaders. Additionally, the Coloradan leader is pushing to get Russian financial influence out of the state.
“I call on all Coloradans to support their Ukrainian neighbors, donate to organizations supporting Ukrainian humanitarian efforts, and to support any Ukrainian refugees that come to Colorado as a result of this conflict,” Polis said.
Directives of the order
The text within the executive order directs the Office of Information Technology and the Department of Personnel and Administration to look through current state contracts to see if there are any Russian state-owned companies currently doing business with Colorado.
If found, those offices are to terminate said contracts before taking steps to ensure any future contacts are not made with companies financed or run by the Russian government.
Secondly, the executive order directs the executive director of OIT to focus his office’s efforts on improving the state’s cybersecurity to counter any future Russian-led cyberattacks.
Lastly, the order has instructed those managing the Office of New Americans, which is a part of Colorado’s Department of Labor, to increase efforts to find homes, employment, a path to citizenship and basic resources for Ukrainian-born refugees already here in Colorado as well as those currently fleeing the conflict.
Ukrainian refugees in Colorado
According to the governor’s office, Colorado has a long history of resettling refugees. Polis directed Colorado’s Office of New Americans to expedite interagency and collaborative efforts to support both Ukrainian-born Coloradans as well as those who are fleeing the crisis that carries the potential of dragging NATO into war.
Over the past 10 years, a total of 270 Ukrainian refugees have relocated to the Rocky Mountain State.
Within the order, Polis said “we will welcome more people in the months to come who are displaced,” highlighting the plan to increase that number as Ukrainians flee their home country.
The order lacks an expiration date and will remain in effect until altered or modified by the governor.