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Eugene suspends sister city in Russia

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File photo
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City of Eugene
Mayor Lucy Vinis. In March, she published a letter she had written to Irkutsk, Russia denouncing the invasion of Ukraine.

Eugene will suspend relations with its Russian sister city amidst the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.

On July 18, Eugene’s City Council voted unanimously to defund a program connecting Eugene and Irkutsk, Russia. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy had called on U.S. mayors to suspend relations.

Eugene and Irkutsk have been sister cities since 1988, with a goal towards shared cultural understanding. In March, Mayor Lucy Vinis penned a letter to distance the program from Russian actions. By then, the program had stalled as visitation became impractical between the U.S. and Russia. Here’s Councilor Emily Semple:

"The original purpose of it being people-to-people isn't happening.”

City Council said they would revisit a relationship with Irkutsk if conflicts de-escalate.

Nathan Wilk is a KLCC Reporting Intern through the Snowden Internship Program. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Wilk began volunteering in radio at 11-years-old, and he has served as a radio DJ and host on multiple local stations. Today, he is a Journalism undergraduate at the University of Oregon with a focus in local artistic communities. In his free time, Wilk enjoys writing music and reading old horror novels.