Alaska Legislature

In ceremonial vote, Alaska House supports military aid to Ukraine

Prax-Nelson

JUNEAU — The Alaska House of Representatives voted 34-1 Wednesday night to support a resolution calling on the United States to supply military aid to Ukraine, which is defending against an invasion from Russia.

The “sense of the House” vote is equivalent to an opinion poll and lacks binding authority, but several lawmakers said it effectively foreshadows more substantial action, including a possible divestment of state investments from Russia.

Wednesday’s vote was proposed by Rep. David Nelson, R-Anchorage, and co-sponsored by 22 other members of the House.

It called for the United States to “resume on an ongoing basis, the regular and uninterrupted supplying of Ukraine with military aid including lethal aid suitable to counter Russian aggression.”

It also asks the American government to support Ukraine’s membership application to the European Union and to promote global and domestic energy independence from Russian sources.

[As other investors leave Russia, Alaska has no plans to sell its $210 million in assets]

Five members of the Legislature were absent from the vote; Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, cast the lone vote against it.

Asked after the vote why he opposed it, Eastman declined to answer. Fellow lawmakers who said they were familiar with his thoughts said he disagreed with the wording of the message and thought it was too close to a declaration of war.

Other legislators, including Rep. Christopher Kurka, R-Wasilla, expressed similar concerns but voted for Nelson’s proposal.

[Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the text of the resolution, which referred to “Russian aggression,” not “European aggression.”]

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.

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