JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — House leadership announced the “Missouri Stands with Ukraine” initiative in the wake of Russian attacks in Ukraine.
HB 2913, which House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher sponsored, will forbid private businesses and state entities from doing business with Russia or Russian entities. The legislation is meant to serve as punitive action for Russia’s occupation and assault on Ukraine.
The bill would also suspend business with other countries that occupy or attack Ukraine.
Plocher announced the bill in a press conference where he was joined by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.
“Our message today is clear. Missouri is open for business to those who value democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and self-determination,” Plocher said. “Brave Missourians — our servicemen and women — have served with honor to defend these values for over 160 years. These values made our country great and are the envy of the free world. History calls on every generation to defend freedom when necessary. We will do our small part in Missouri to lead the way.”
The bill would also apply to nations that attack or occupy other NATO allies.
“Missouri will do its part in this critical moment in history,” Kehoe said. “As the Buy Missouri advocate for our state, I always encourage Missourians to purchase locally, and now it is more important than ever to do so. No matter how large the transaction, even if it’s a single product on a store shelf, the amplified effect of these decisions send a direct and meaningful message to the Russian government that Missourians support Ukraine.”
Russia was the 20th largest supplier of goods and imports in 2019 in the U.S., according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Earlier this week, Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick requested an emergency MOSERS meeting to discuss involvement and potential divestment of Russian holdings.
James Turner studies political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Previously, he was a legislative intern for the Associated Students of the University of Missouri. James is a native of Ferguson, Missouri.