Mar 7, 2022 - News

From liquor to investments, Colorado is divesting from Russia

Illustration of a lock in the colors of the Russian flag.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Liquor stores are pulling Russian vodka from their shelves. A Denver brewery is renaming its Putin-themed beer. City Hall is bathed in yellow and blue light. And state government is divesting.

What's happening: In symbolic and real ways, Colorado is amplifying its efforts to support Ukraine and punish Russia amid the ongoing assault.

Why it matters: Colorado's approach mirrors the Biden administration's, which is working to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Catch up quick: The most significant action came from the state's pension fund, known as PERA, which pulled $7.2 million in investments from a Russian bank.

  • The University of Colorado similarly divested $3.5 million in mutual fund holdings and the CU Foundation is selling $2.6 million in publicly traded Russian companies.
  • Gov. Jared Polis said he is ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees.

What's next: Colorado's U.S. Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, both Democrats, are supporting bipartisan legislation to ban the import of Russian oil.

  • Yes, but: President Biden has expressed concern about that bill because it would lead to a price spike at the gas pump.

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