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Chicago Suspends ‘Sister City’ Relationship With Moscow As Russia Invades Ukraine

The suspension will be in place until Russia stops its hostile actions against Ukraine and "the Putin regime is held accountable for its crimes," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

People climb posts and hold signs as thousands gather during a rally in support of Ukrainian sovereignty in the Loop on Feb. 27, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Chicago has temporarily ended its “sister city” relationship with Moscow, the capital of Russia.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Tuesday she has asked World Business Chicago to suspend the relationship between the cities as a result of Russia invading Ukraine. The move was made because Lightfoot thought Chicago needs to “go further in its definitive actions against Russia,” she said in a news release.

“While this is not a decision I enter into lightly, we must send an unambiguous message: We strongly condemn all actions by the Putin regime,” Lightfoot said in a news release. “We must continue to support freedom-loving people everywhere and ordinary Russians in their desire to be free.”

The suspension will be in place until Russia stops its hostile actions against Ukraine and “the Putin regime is held accountable for its crimes,” Lightfoot said.

Chicago is also a sister city of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, which Russia has been bombarding and attempting to take over.

Thirty-three aldermen signed a resolution Monday asking for Chicago to sever its sister city relationship with Moscow.

Last week, the Council of Chairs of Chicago Sister Cities International — which is a part of World Business Chicago, which runs the program — released a statement in support of Ukraine.

“Chicago is home to thousands of people of Ukrainian ancestry and Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood adds to the vibrancy of the city, as a national hub of Ukrainian community, art and culture,” according to Chicago Sister Cities. “We believe that democracy and self-determination are cornerstone values of both the United States and Ukraine; that self-determination is the right of all people around the world, including the Ukrainian people; and that a free and independent Ukraine is of vital importance to protecting the Ukrainian people, their history, art, and culture.”

The sister cities program is meant to create bridges between Chicagoans and residents of other cities across the globe.

Chicago’s sister cities:

  • Accra, Ghana
  • Amman, Jordan
  • Athens, Greece
  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Busan, Republic of Korea
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Delhi, India
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Lahore, Pakistan
  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Milan, Italy
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Paris, France
  • Petach Tikva, Israel
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Shanghai, China
  • Shenyang, China
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Warsaw, Poland

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