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Eugene suspends sister city in Russia

File photo
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 joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.