Gov. Phil Murphy reiterated his support for the Ukrainian people today amid the ongoing Russian invasion and outlined a number of steps he is taking or plans to take to sever New Jersey’s ties with the Russian government and Russian companies.

“We stand firm with the people of Ukraine,” Murphy said. “We will stand with them to the end, and I hope the end will be peaceful and soon.”

The governor also reiterated his contempt for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is the main force in the war in Ukraine and whom Murphy called “Bad, bad, bad dude” shortly before the invasion.

“I can’t resist the moment to name the bandit Vladimir Putin and his kleptocracy,” he said. “It’s a war of choice, it’s madness – [he is an] an absolute animal, and deserves the condemnation that the world must bring upon it ”.

Murphy signed the order yesterday governing state bodies to consider their engagement with Russian companies, and today he said he supports State Senator Paul Sarl’s (D-Wood-Ridge) bill on ban government agencies from doing business with Russia or companies supported by Russia.

Asked if he had any ties to Russia through his portfolio of shares, which he blindly trusted at the beginning of his first term as governor, Murphy said no.

Due to the fact that sanctions are likely to soon be adopted by the full legislature, Murphy added that he is considering more actions that the state can take. Among the problems he highlighted were Ukrainian refugees, whom Murphy said would be Welcome to the stateand the availability of Russian goods such as gas.

“We’re looking at everything now,” Murphy said. “We will continue to try to figure out any steps we can take, including happily accepting refugees and all that is involved.”

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