Norfolk City Council votes to suspend ties with Russian twin city

NORFOLK, Virginia (Wavi) – Despite a request from the local twin city association to continue relations with Russia’s twin city of Norfolk, Norfolk City Council on Tuesday decided to sever ties – at least for now.

On Tuesday, Norfolk City Council unanimously voted to suspend relations with Russia’s twin city of Kaliningrad, seeking “to do everything possible to condemn President Putin’s atrocities and crimes against humanity.”

According to the documents on the agenda, relations will be suspended until the restoration of peace and sovereignty in Ukraine. The resolution reaffirms the city’s hope for “peace and understanding” with Kaliningrad.

In a resolution, Norfolk City Council asked the Norfolk Twin Cities Association to inform Kaliningrad of the suspension and urge city residents to do “what they can safely do to express their hostility to President Putin’s atrocities.”

“I think the work of twin cities … what they do is very important,” McClellan said, noting the importance of the work of the Twin Cities Association. “I’m glad we’re not breaking up, we’re suspending.”

On February 28, the Association of Twin Cities of Norfolk wrote a letter to the city council stating that it was not ready to completely sever ties with Kaliningrad, as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine continues. The association said that the mission of the twin cities was to promote peace “through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.”

Both Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called on the association to end relations on Saturday.

During a meeting on Tuesday, Alexander added that he praised the work of the local twin city organization.

Earlier, the association said it would place a hood over the Kaliningrad sign in Town Point Park in support of Ukraine. The hood would remain in place as long as Russia occupies the country.

Norfolk has 10 different twin cities in 10 countries around the world. Kaliningrad was the fifth twin city. The relationship began in 1992.

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