Lansing leaders will discuss their Sister-City relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia

Jul 21, 2013

Possibly ending the city of Lansing’s sister city relationship with St. Petersburg, Russia will be the topic of a meeting tomorrow evening.

St. Petersburg recently passed an anti-gay ordinance and police there arrested people at an LGBT rally.

Some Lansing city council members say they want to send a message to St. Petersburg officials by canceling Lansing’s 2 decade old sister cities relationship with the Russian city.

Martha Fujita helped lead the Lansing Sister Cities Commission for a time from the late 1990’s into the early 2000’s.  She says there’s a value in maintaining the relationship with people who think differently from us.

“I don’t quite see the logic of going through and isolating ourselves….if we will not have affiliations or friendships overseas unless they are ‘pure’,” says Fujita.

The Lansing-St. Petersburg relationship has actually been dormant for several years, as has a similar relationship with the city of Sanming, China. Critics have also called on the city to cancel that relationship, also over human rights issues.