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Victoria considers suspending ties with twin city in Russia

Coun. Stephen Andrew bringing motion to council March 3
Victoria city council will vote March 3 on whether to cut ties with one of their twin cities, Khabarovsk, Russia. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Victoria city council will vote Thursday on whether to suspend its relationship with its twin city in Khabarovsk, Russia.

The idea of twin cities, or sister cities, was thought up by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, with the goal of building bonds between different people and cultures around the world. Victoria’s twin cities include Napier, New Zealand; Suzhou, China; Morioka, Japan; and Khabarovsk, Russia.

In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Couns. Stephen Andrew, Charlayne Thornton-Joe, and Geoff Young are calling on council to temporarily cut ties with Khabarovsk.

“I think it really is a strong message for the Ukrainian-Canadian community in Greater Victoria that we stand with them,” Andrew told Black Press Media.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Vancouver Island group stands with Ukraine through sunflower rock paintings

He said at the municipal level there are few concrete steps available to aid in stopping the war, but that he hopes if the city suspends ties with Khabarovsk it will add to the global pressure against Russia.

If the war continues, Andrew said he will consider bringing forward a new motion to permanently end their relationship. Victoria and Khabarovsk have been twin cities since May 1990.

Council will vote on the suspension at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting.

READ ALSO: B.C. politicians push stronger efforts for Ukraine as hundreds rally in downtown Victoria

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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media after starting as a community reporter in Greater Victoria.
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