While countries around the world impose sanctions on Russia, states are following suit. Now New Jersey may ban business relations with the country, according to a bill introduced Monday.

The bill, which was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, would deprive people or businesses associated with Russia and Belarus inadmissible for various business deals with the government. The state joins the long list of countries that impose such sanctions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week.

Under the bill, New Jersey also cannot invest pension or annuity funds in companies or financial institutions affiliated with Russia or Belarus, or hold shares, loans or other equity investments in them.

“We need to target Russia’s economic pressure points to make them pay for an aggressive war against the free people and democratically elected government of Ukraine,” said Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, who sponsored the bill, the statement said. Sarla said New Jersey would be the first state to do so.

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