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June 29, 2022

Wisconsin Treasurer wants to dump Russian investments

Wisconsin’s state treasurer is the latest to look to pull the plug on the state’s Russian investments.

Treasurer Sarah Godlewski on Monday released a letter to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board that asks for a report on any investments the state has in any Russian companies or funds, and asks for a plan to dump them.

“The Wisconsin Retirement System is one of the largest public pension funds in the U.S., and it is our prudent obligation to act,” Godlewski wrote. “I’m calling on the State of Wisconsin Investment Board to immediately identify any direct investments in Russia held by the Wisconsin Retirement System, the State Investment Fund, and other state trust funds; and develop a plan to divest from these holdings.”

Wisconsin has about $90 million connected to Russian investments. That’s less than 1% of the $147 billion the state has invested.

Godlewski says Wisconsin should not be in business with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

“Pennsylvania, North Dakota, California, Connecticut, New York, and other states have already announced divestment plans,” Godlewski noted. “This devastating conflict may be thousands of miles away, but it’s on all of us to leverage every economic tool at our disposal to exert pressure on Russia to stop this naked aggression, bloodshed, and destruction.”

She said Wisconsin has a moral “obligation to act.”

Identifying the investments may be easy, but getting rid of them may not be.

A report from Ohio said that the state is having trouble finding a buyer for its Russian investments.

“The reality however, is that there is currently no market for the sale of Russian securities,” Ohio teacher pension system spokesman Tim Barbour told The Columbus Dispatch.

In addition to serving as state treasurer, Godlewski is running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat this year

This article was originally posted on Wisconsin Treasurer wants to dump Russian investments