NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Despite the local sister city association’s request to continue a relationship with its Norfolk’s Russian sister city, Norfolk City Council on Tuesday decided to sever the relationship — at least, for now.

Click here to subscribe to WAVY’s breaking news email alert

Norfolk City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend its relationship with its sister city of Kaliningrad, Russia, in an effort to “do all it can to denounce President Putin’s atrocities and crimes against humanity.”

According to agenda documents, the relationship will be suspended until peace and sovereignty are restored in Ukraine. The resolution affirms the city’s hope to maintain the relationship of “peace and understanding” with Kaliningrad.

In the resolution, Norfolk City Council asked the Norfolk Sister City Association to communicate the suspension to Kaliningrad and urge the city’s citizens to do “what they can safely do to express their opposition to President Putin’s atrocities.”

“I think the work the sister cities … what they do is so important,” council member Andria McClellan said, noting the importance of the work of the sister city association. ” I am glad that we are not dissolving the relationship, but we are suspending it.”

The Norfolk Sister City Association on Feb. 28 wrote a letter to City Council saying it wasn’t ready to completely sever ties with Kaliningrad as Moscow’s invasion continues in Ukraine. The association said the mission of the sister-city relationship was to promote peace “through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.”

Both Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called on the association to end the relationship on Saturday.

Alexander added during Tuesday’s meeting that he appreciated the work of the local sister city organization.

The association previously said it would place a hood over the Kaliningrad directional marker at Town Point Park as a symbol of their support for Ukraine. The hood would remain in place as long as Russia is occupying the country.

Norfolk has 10 different sister cities in 10 countries across the world. Kaliningrad was the city’s fifth sister city. The relationship was forged in 1992.