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Kemp administration says Georgia will ‘fully divest’ from Russian firms

Associated Press/Elijah Nouvelage

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) administration says the Peach State will “fully divest” from Russian firms amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kemp spokeswoman Katie Boyd told The Hill in a statement on Monday that the governor’s office last week “began reviewing and taking actions to ensure Georgia taxpayer dollars are not being used to subsidize Russia.”

She said that “upon identification” the state will “fully divest the agreements.” Thus far only one instance has been determined.

“So far, there has been one instance, and we will be fully divested from that agreement by mid-week,” Boyd said.

Asked for information on the “one instance” cited, Boyd referred The Hill to a tweet from a WABE News reporter about an exchange-traded fund called iShares MSCI Russia ETF, which is found in the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia. According to the tweet, he makes investments in a “broad range of companies in Russia.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the fund is in part made up of Russian companies. Its portfolio reportedly includes companies from the energy, basic materials and financial sectors.

On Monday afternoon, the fund was reportedly down by 28 percent, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Boyd said she will be able to provide more detail later this week.

Georgia will join a number of other states cutting ties with Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. The governors of New Hampshire, Utah, Pennsylvania and Ohio have all ordered or formally requested that state-run liquor stores stop selling Russian vodka.

The decisions come after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine last week, which set off a days-long invasion of Ukraine that is still ongoing. Russia’s advances, however, have been slowed because of strong opposition from Ukrainian troops and private citizens.

The Kemp administration’s announcement comes as the governor is running in a fierce reelection battle. Former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) is waging a primary bid against the sitting governor.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in January found that Kemp was leading Perdue by seven points, but Perdue has former President Trump’s endorsement.

Tags Brian Kemp David Perdue divestment Donald Trump Georgia Russia Ukraine Vladimir Putin
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