Connecticut companies take action to weaken Russian economy
HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Local businesses are stepping up to support the people of Ukraine.
“Its economy is weak, so if we can hit it where it hurts, the banks, all that stuff, I think that’s the way to do it,” said Peter Vouras, owner of FRESKOS in Hamden. “It’s about paying it forward, so what we’re going to do is try to raise money for Nova Ukraine, which raises money primarily for women and children.”
On March 10, free gyros will be offered at FRESKOS from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the cost of each gyro will be donated to New Ukraine.
While support goes to Ukraine, the reverse is true for Russia, whose economy is squeezed by sanctions. This is hitting Russian assets hard.
Connecticut’s state treasurer will withdraw millions of dollars from Russian-owned assets, a move he says is in the best interests of state employees and teachers who will be the beneficiaries of their investments.
“These stocks are becoming less and less attractive for our investment portfolio and this is a dramatic new development over the past few days,” Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden said.
The $218 million they had invested in Russian interests was less than half a percent of state pension funds, valued at more than $47 billion.
As Connecticut withdraws its investments, Wooden is urging other state treasurers to follow suit.
“We will also see the effects of divestment and by reducing interest, economic activity in the country, they will be compressed,” Wooden said.
An Apple spokesperson said Tuesday that the company is halting sales of all of its products in Russia. State Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal are both pushing to seize the assets of Putin and his oligarch allies, not just freeze them.
As the money is allocated from Russia, stocks have taken a hit. The S&P 500 fell more than 1.5% while oil prices climbed 11% to a seven-year high.