Ukraine’s envoy to US insists there’s ‘no friction’ in relations between Kyiv and Washington

31 January 2022, 09:22 PM

There is “no friction” in relations between the United States and Ukraine, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova insisted in an interview with television channel CBC News on Jan. 30, denying media reports of disagreement between U.S. and Ukrainian officials over the likelihood of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the contrary, the ambassador said, U.S.-Ukraine relations have been at the highest level ever, especially over the last year.

“...We can have some discussions and we can have a difference of opinions,” Markarova said.

“But the United States is our strategic partner, and I would even say strategic friend, number one.”

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The Ukrainian diplomat also commented on rumors that the Ukrainian president was “downplaying the risk” of a possible Russian invasion.

“We are not downplaying the risk,” Markarova said.

“We actually see the situation the same way, and we see the buildup, and we also know what Russia is capable of, because they have attacked us already. At the same time, in order to defend our country, we cannot afford to panic.”

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky had a phone call on Jan. 27, during which they discussed de-escalation efforts and the next diplomatic steps with regard to Russia.

The U.S.-based CNN TV news channel, citing a senior Ukrainian official, reported that a call between the two leaders “did not go well” amid disagreements over the “risk levels” of a Russian attack, though the White House has denied that interpretation of events.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has also denied the allegations.

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