Ambassador of Ukraine to U.S. meets with Utah state and church leaders

Apr 11, 2024, 7:43 PM | Updated: 9:08 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — For the first time, Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, paid the Beehive State a visit. It’s a connection that’s been years in the making.

The ambassador will speak at the One Utah Summit on Friday, focusing on the economic opportunities between Utah and Ukraine.

“From the moment I arrived, I actually feel at home,” Markarova said.

Her day started speaking at a women’s leadership conference, then continued with a visit to the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute.

“Be involved in any way possible, because it’s important to American National security,” Markarova told students.

women’s leadership conference

Markarova speaking at the women’s leadership conference. (KSL TV)

From campus to the Governor’s mansion, Markarova met with Gov. Spencer Cox before heading to Temple Square to meet with the First Presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I’m pleasantly surprised how supportive people are, how informed people are about the fight in Ukraine, and also how much more we can do together,” she said.

When speaking with KSL, the ambassador expressed hope for Ukraine’s future.

“When we win the war, we are already working on how we will win the peace,” Markarova said. “We can do it together with Utah.”

In September, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded Utah’s Honorary Consul to Ukraine a Presidential Award. On that same trip, Zelenskyy signed an agreement that committed F-16 parts and funding to help rebuild Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy honors Utah’s Honorary Consul to Ukraine, Signs Agreement with UT businessmen during U.S. visit

Funding is Ukraine’s greatest need and greatest ask. So far, around $113 billion has come from direct military aid, the Presidential Drawdown Authority, Foreign Military financing, and the Ukraine Assistance Initiative.

A $60 billion aid bill for Ukraine waits for approval from the House.

“The actual money that Congress authorized, goes to the companies in the US in more than 30 states,” Markarova said. “Jobs are created here.”

Markarova meeting with Cox at the capital

Markarova is meeting with Cox in the capital. (KSL TV)

The ambassador’s visit comes the week Russia’s Foreign Minister made an unexpected visit to China, the US’s largest trade partner and a country that funds both Russia and Ukraine.

“What more can get us nervous or shock us after we have seen kids killed,” Markarova said. “We know how many Ukrainian children are abducted, and waiting to be liberated from Russia, and we’re talking about tens of thousands of kids. Unfortunately, the war makes everything very difficult, but very clear at the same time.”

If there was no war, Markarova said she would discuss cultural collaborations and how Ukraine can contribute to bettering the planet through science.

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Ambassador of Ukraine to U.S. meets with Utah state and church leaders