Roanoke, Virginia – The mayor of Roanoke Sherman Lee is not going to end the relations of the Star City with its twin Pskov, Russia, in the near future.
In a letter sent to Richmond on Monday, Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lee referred to his conversation with Gov. Glen Yangkin that Roanoke was severing twinning relations with the Russian city.
“I do not believe that this support requires the severance of our 30-year relationship with the Russian people of Pskov. Indeed, in such times, such a relationship is more important than ever – as a person to person, we seek understanding and peace, “Leo wrote in a letter to the governor.
Since October 1992. The twin cities of the Roanoke Valley has participated in numerous humanitarian, educational and medical initiatives in Pskov, Russia.
Jesse Coffman works directly with the organization’s voters in Pskov.
“For us, it is more of a bridge to continue the relationship because it keeps the channels open for possible discussions or diplomacy. So, if we broke off this relationship, we think it would be more harmful than keeping the relationship open, ”Coffman said.
Now she said they are working on resuming the exchange program and organizing cultural roundtables.
The following is the full text of Leah’s letter:
Dear Governor Yangkin!
Thank you for talking to me on the phone on Sunday morning regarding your concern for the people of Ukraine. As mayor of Roanoke, I am united with you and President Biden in condemning Vladimir Putin’s heinous actions in Ukraine. Together with other people from all over the Commonwealth and this nation, I pray and support those in Ukraine who are actively resisting the invasion of their country. I do not believe that this support requires the severance of our 30-year relationship with the Russian people of Pskov. Indeed, in such times, such relationships are more important than ever – as a person to person, we seek understanding and peace.
Founded in 1956 by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the twin cities are designed to promote peace through personal relationships, such as between the inhabitants of Roanoke and Pskov. In his speech calling for the creation of twin cities, President Eisenhower emphasized the importance of such relations between those living in America and Russia as the only way to true understanding and peace. What was true in 1956 is no less true in 2022.
Now is not the time for further division, but for us to show compassion and support to the people of Ukraine, continuing to use our existing relationships with the people, our twin cities, to show them that there is a better way, a path that leads to common understanding, freedom and peace – which are in direct contrast to the path of authoritarianism and violence.
I hope and pray that the people of Roanoke understand how important it is to maintain our relations with the people of Pskov, refusing the unacceptable actions of their leader and continuing to express their support for the people of Ukraine and the suffering they are experiencing. Any changes in this regard should be made only after careful discussion by all Roanoke City Councils in collaboration with the Roanoke Valley Twin Cities Program, based on a firm understanding of the intentions and benefits of such relationships.
Thank you for all you do to improve the lives of those who call this great Commonwealth home. I look forward to our continued collaboration to make Roanoke and Virginia as strong as they can be.
Sherman P. Lee, senior
Mayor of the city
Mayor Roanoke Sherman Lee
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