Indiana has cut investment ties with Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
The move comes after Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered an examination of the state’s connections to Moscow and as he started a weeklong trade mission trip to Slovakia and Israel. On Monday, Holcomb visited a refugee camp for hundreds of Ukrainians in Slovakia.
Holcomb’s executive order investigating ties with Russia came at the end of February. Among other actions, the order required the Indiana Public Retirement System to report Russian-related investments.
INPRS says it quickly identified more than $147 million of such investments. And according to an INPRS spokesperson, “given widespread economic and trading restrictions” the state’s retirement system’s managers decided it was prudent to end those investments.
INPRS won’t say how much the divestment cost the state. The agency argues it can’t easily determine the impact because of the falling stock price of those securities, regardless of divestment.
But INPRS says the state’s retirement system is still reporting a positive rate of return this fiscal year. And any loss from severing ties with Russia has been offset by the state’s other investments. The $147 million in Russian-linked investments is a small fraction of the $55 billion of investments overseen by INPRS.
The Republican governor earlier this month also signed into law a bill approved by state lawmakers blocking Russian-controlled businesses from acquiring property in Indiana for one year.
Holcomb said he was reminded of the importance of peace and security when he and his wife joined the U.S. ambassador to Slovakia in placing a wreath at the Gate of Freedom Memorial in the country's capital of Bratislava. The memorial commemorates people who died trying to escape from behind the Iron Curtain between 1945 and 1989.
Holcomb said the U.S. and its allies must stand with Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think the sooner he leaves the international stage the better for humanity, and if he wants to put his people first he would do just that,” Holcomb said. “I don’t think we can believe anything Putin says. His actions prove he’s not trustworthy.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.