Leicestershire County Council acts to sever all financial links with Russian firms

Cllr Rushton is acting as tough international sanctions have been slapped on Russia and its oligarch leaders

By Red Williams
Friday, 4th March 2022, 5:06 pm
Leicestershire County Council
Leicestershire County Council

Leicestershire County Council leader Nick Rushton wants to cut all their financial links with Russian firms.

Cllr Rushton has asked senior officers to review the local authority’s contracts spending and pension fund investments as Russian military forces smash their way across Ukraine.

Thousands of innocent civilians and members of the armed forces have already been killed as over a million refugees have fled their war-battered homeland.

Cllr Rushton is acting as tough international sanctions have been slapped on Russia and its oligarch leaders following the invasion which has shocked the world.

The urgent review has so far identified that the council has no contracts with Russian firms.

But the authority has about £10 million of its pension pot - 0.15 per cent of the total fund - invested with Russian companies.

“Western governments are tightening the economic stranglehold on Putin’s regime with sanctions and we want to do our part to force him to end the appalling violence and destruction he has unleashed on Ukraine.

“That’s why I asked for all county council contracts to be reviewed, our pension investments examined, and our purchasing looked at so we can extract ourselves from the Russian economy and play our part, however small, in bringing further pressure to bear on the Russia’s government,” said Cllr Rushton today.

“I’m pleased the council’s connections to Russia are very small indeed.

“We don’t lend money to Russian banks and never have.

“I want us to do all we can to bring further pressure to bear where we are able have some influence.

“That includes working, as quickly as we can with other local authorities, to remove the exposure we have through the pension fund,” insisted Cllr Rushton.

“I urge all local authorities, public bodies and businesses in the county to take urgent action to review any interests they may have in Russia.

“It’s the right and moral thing to do.”

Cllr Rushton and deputy council leader Cllr Deborah Taylor have already called for Leicestershire to do absolutely everything it can to offer a safe haven to shattered Ukrainian refugees.

The British Government has vowed to take over 200,000 refugees.

The United Nations says over a million terrified Ukrainians have already poured over their borders into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Moldova as they flee the biggest conflict on European soil since the Second World War ended in 1945.