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The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to begin the process of making war-torn Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, a sister city.

The council voted 14-0 on a motion by Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who said he wanted to send a message to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

“Mr. Mayor, we see you. We honor you. We know today you are doing all you can to protect your city, to protect your people, and we know this sister city relationship is last on your mind. But, Mr. Mayor, know that the city of Los Angeles is here for you.”

Buscaino termed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an “assault on humankind.”

The motion noted that formalizing a sister city relationship normally takes about a year, including meetings between citizens and the two governments.

Because that’s not currently possible with Kyiv, the relationship will be formalized in the future. In the meantime, a steering committee including members of LA’s Ukrainian community will be formed, Buscaino said.

In addition to symbolism, the designation enables practical support such as donation of surplus municipal equipment.

Among LA’s existing sister cities is St. Petersburg, Russia. The relationship dates to 1984.