On June 29 the City of Albuquerque announced intention to establish a Sister Cities International (SCI) relationship with the city of Kharkiv, located in the northeast region of Ukraine. The partnership was celebrated virtually by both Albuquerque and Kharkiv, with Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov attending.
Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine, has been targeted by Russian attacks since the start of the Russia-Ukraine War in 2022, but according to recent reports, citizens are beginning to return to the city. Albuquerque officials and Mayor Keller hope to support Mayor Terekhov and Kharkiv residents during the reconstruction of the city, with damages estimated to be around $50 billion.
“We’re grateful to foster a relationship with Kharkiv that transcends borders and promotes peace and understanding,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The people and leadership of Kharkiv are incredibly resilient, and we stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian friends, especially as they defend their democracy against Russian invasion.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower developed Sister Cities International in 1956, envisioning an organization that would promote peace and prosperity by creating bonds between people from different cities around the world. Mayor Keller and Mayor Terekhov began exploring a city-to-city relationship in early 2023, and found that both cities shared a deep sense of community and cultural pride, as well as the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship as a path to improve the quality of life for their respective citizens.
“The war continues, and in these difficult times it is especially important for our city to feel the support of the United States of America as a strategic partner of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression,” said Mayor Ihor Terekhov. “I am deeply grateful to all Albuquerque citizens and to Timothy Keller personally for this important step towards sister cities relations which are of great importance for our city. And I am convinced that our cooperation will be a solid foundation for the further development of Kharkiv and Albuquerque in terms of the implementation joint projects aimed at the success of both communities.”
“…Kharkiv and Albuquerque’s Sister Cities Partnership establishes the 11th Sister City for Albuquerque. Albuquerque Sister Cities Foundation is honored to connect people to people for mutual endeavors through Humanitarian, Educational, Cultural, and Economic programs creating lifelong friendships,” said Pam Feather, Albuquerque Sister Cities Foundation President.
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