Minnesota House moves to divest pensions of Russian assets

The Minnesota House of Representatives has unanimously approved more sanctions against Russia.

Thursday, the House passed legislation divesting state pensions of Russian and Belarusian assets. It comes two weeks after Gov. Tim Walz asked state lawmakers to order the State Board of Investment (SBI) to withdraw its investments in Russian businesses and institutions.

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The House included Belarus due to its complicity in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, lawmakers said.

On March 11, the value of SBI’s publicly traded assets in Russia and Belarus was $14 million; since then, it’s dropped below $10 million, the House said.

The move means SBI will have to liquidate 50% of the Russian and Belarusian assets within 9 months and the remaining 50% within 15 months of the bill becoming law.

The Minnesota Senate still needs to approve the measure but doesn’t plan to do so Thursday.