Florida Democrats urge Ron DeSantis to remove all investments from Russia

Florida Democrats urge Ron DeSantis to remove all investments from Russia

More than a month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Biden Administration and its European NATO allies are continuing to impose tough economic sanctions against Russia. But some Democrats are saying that even more sanctions need to be imposed. And Democrat Nikki Fried, who serves as commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture, believes that her state still has too many investments in Russia.

On March 28, Fried, a frequent critic of far-right Gov. Ron DeSantis, tweeted, “Florida still has $300,000,000 invested in Russia and Ron DeSantis still hasn't done anything about it.”

Politico’s Gary Fineout, on March 28, noted that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has “introduced legislation…. that would bar U.S. institutions from investing in Russian securities.”

Rubio said, “We need to minimize the resultant harm to Americans, including teachers and retirees, who have pensions and retirement accounts invested in Russian securities. Many Americans do not even realize that fund managers have placed their money in these Russian companies.”

But Fineout reports, “This is apparently a topic that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the two other Republicans who oversee the state’s mammoth nearly $200 billion pension plan really don’t want to talk about. That's even though Florida has roughly $300 million — although the value is probably considerably less now — in Russian-related investments.”

Some Florida Democrats, Fineout observes, “have repeatedly questioned the recalcitrance of the governor on Russian divestment in recent weeks, and the 11 Democratic members of Florida’s delegation signed a letter on Friday, (March 25) calling on DeSantis to act.”

In a statement, Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said, “Urgently isolating Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs saves Ukrainian lives, and I’m repulsed that DeSantis and his fellow Republicans refuse to divest Florida’s Russian-tied assets. I’m also stunned that, given the chance, Florida’s Republican members of Congress refused to sign this straightforward letter urging their counterparts in Tallahassee to wipe this blood-stained money off Florida’s investment books.”

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