Ukrainian President Appoints Ex-Finance Minister As New Ambassador To U.

KYIV -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has officially appointed former finance minister Oksana Markarova as the country’s new ambassador to the United States as he seeks improved ties with Washington.

In a February 25 statement announcing her appointment, Zelenskiy called Markarova a high-caliber professional and said he hoped she would not only strengthen political relations with Washington, but help attract foreign investment to the country.

Markarova’s appointment comes as Zelenskiy seeks to build strong bonds with the new Biden administration following troubled relations with his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden and Zelenskiy have yet to speak.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba proposed Markarova in late November 2020 shortly after Biden was declared the winner of the close presidential election.

Kuleba defended his decision at the time to nominate someone outside the foreign service for perhaps the nation’s most critical ambassadorial posting, saying she is “well known” in the United States, including at the State Department, Treasury Department, and at the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ukraine is seeking more funding from the IMF to deal with the impact of the coronavirus.

Markarova served as finance minister from June 2018 until March 2020, when she was dismissed along with other officials by Zelenskiy. Prior to that she worked as a deputy finance minister, helping secure lending from the IMF.

Morgan Williams, the president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, a Washington-based trade lobby group, hailed the appointment as sending positive signals about reforms.

"[Markarova] is considered a heavyweight in international circles, a reformer, and she hits the ground running in Washington because she knows a lot of the folks. It is a strong appointment,” he told RFE/RL.

The new ambassador will have a lot on her plate, including lobbying the United States for sanctions against Nord Stream 2, the Russian natural-gas pipeline that will reroute energy exports around Ukraine.

Zelenskiy is seeking to convince the Biden administration to impose further sanctions on the project to halt its completion.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Myanmar protests: Why won't China condemn the military junta's violence? - DW News.

Myanmar protests: Why won't China condemn the military junta's violence? - DW News.

Security forces in Myanmar have reportedly opened fire on medical workers who were taking part in a pro-democracy protest in the city of Mandalay. Hundreds of people have been killed and many more injured since a military coup in February overthre...

Biden 'preparing sanctions against Russia including BANISHING officials from US'.

Biden 'preparing sanctions against Russia including BANISHING officials from US'.

JOE Biden is reportedly preparing sanctions against Russia, including banishing officials from the US, over election meddling and cyber attacks. The president's administration is set to announce a string of measures against Russia on Thursday, acc...

1

Texas, Missouri sue Biden admin to reinstate 'Remain-in-Mexico' policy.

Texas, Missouri sue Biden admin to reinstate 'Remain-in-Mexico' policy.

Texas AG Ken Paxton tells 'Fox & Friends First' that he believes the states will win in court and discusses the debate over reforming the Supreme Court. #FoxNews FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking...

Live: George Floyd killing - Former cop Derek Chauvin trial continues.

Live: George Floyd killing - Former cop Derek Chauvin trial continues.

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis policeman accused of killing George Floyd, begins with opening arguments. Chauvin, who is white, has been charged with second-degree murder and other lesser charges in the May 25 death of Floyd, a...

Cameron lobbying: 'I've not seen anything it' - Committee Chair.

Cameron lobbying: 'I've not seen anything it' - Committee Chair.

The Chair of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments says he's "not really come across anything like it before" after a former Government Chief Commercial Officer was able to take a job at Greensill Capital while still working in Whitehall...

Tearful Charles & Camilla look at flowers and a mini Land Rover for Prince Philip.

Tearful Charles & Camilla look at flowers and a mini Land Rover for Prince Philip.

A TEARFUL Prince Charles and Camilla today gazed over flowers and even a mini Land Rover tribute laid in honour for Philip. Thousands of floral tributes have been left for the Duke of Edinburgh after he passed away aged 99 - with the messages of c...