Below is a transcript of an interview with Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova aired on “Face the Nation” on June 4, 2023.
Margaret Brennan: Ambassador Oksana Markarova is here to give you an update. good morning. I’m glad you’re back.
Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States: Good morning. I would be happy to come back anytime.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I would like to ask what is happening right now, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has announced that a U.S.-trained Ukrainian brigade has arrived in Ukraine and has been rehearsing, training and servicing for several weeks. because you said you were. He said the weather has improved. He describes the conditions under which a counterattack could begin immediately. What to expect in the days and weeks ahead?
AMB. Markarova: Well, to be honest, the counterattack never stopped for us. Since February 24th, our focus has only been on how to liberate the land. But of course we want to add trade brigades, add equipment, use whatever funds we’re working with right now, and start doing this as soon as our commander sees availability – that’s It doesn’t matter if it takes one or even a few counterattacks, but the sooner you can liberate all of their territory and all of their people, the better, of course. So, of course, as you’ve heard from the president and commanders, we won’t announce anything, we won’t announce anything, we’ll see the results when they come out. But we expect more to be released soon.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And the President said, “I’m ready.” However, Russia launched missile attacks throughout the week, including on the capital Kiev. They seem to be testing your air defense. And I know that President Zelensky said that Ukraine needs more Patriot missiles. Are you now receiving assistance to put such air defenses in place? Is America doing enough?
AMB. MARKAROVA: We are so grateful for everything we have received. I mean, it’s the Patriots, it’s NASAMS, and everything else, but it obviously needs more than that. So what the Russians have been doing is that for 466 days, and this week, every day, several times a day, there are constant lethal attacks not just by rockets, but by Shahed drones. I’ve seen That is fear. The destruction it brings.But it’s also about expanding the capabilities we have now, and we definitely need more
Margaret Brennan: The Biden administration has injected another $300 million in military aid. That included drones. Are these surveillance drones attack drones given by the US?
AMB. Markarova: That’s drone range, so we need all the drones. We need surveillance, we need attack drones, and we need suicide drones. Therefore, the package contains various functions.
Margaret Brennan: There’s a NATO meeting scheduled for July, and President Biden is also due to attend, and Ukraine’s possible participation in a military alliance is on the agenda there. Do you know what the US promises?
AMB. Markarova: Well, we are all looking forward to the Summit. Ukraine has NATO ambitions and transatlantic ambitions:
Margaret Brennan: For a while.
AMB. Markarova: – In our hearts, in our constitution, and the majority of people support it. Since 2008, when we were first declared members of NATO, we believe it is time to start discussing concrete steps in this regard. Now, as President Zelensky said, we are realists. We understand the limits that the ongoing war imposes on it, but after this horrific violation of international law, after Russia attacked us without any provocation when we were not a member of NATO, Finland And at this moment after the historic decision regarding Sweden, I think: It’s time for everyone to understand that it’s a matter of good and evil. And NATO has a lot to add, so just as NATO needs Ukraine, we need to become NATO members. Yes, I am looking forward to discussing this on this forum.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your president said he knows this won’t happen until the war is over. In other words, the United States will not be directly involved in this conflict as a member of NATO now, and will be committed to future participation. What security assurance are you looking for?
AMB. Markarova: Well, President Zelensky has put forward this peace plan that clearly outlines how to end the war and how to build and restore security. So there are many factors. It’s about military security, justice, rebuilding Ukraine, and making sure that together we can stop Russia from coming back. And it was all discussed with partners individually, but also in groups. This was one of the items discussed at the G7 summit and elsewhere. So this is a work in progress, but I think the real security is not for Ukraine, but for the transatlantic community, and part of the world, and globally, believe in the position of the United Nations. It is for all of us in the future. to become an alliance member. It is a peaceful defense alliance of like-minded people.
Margaret Brennan: The US has so far pledged $45 billion in aid to Ukraine. But that funding will end in September, so additional funding will need to be requested. Are you worried about any political pressures that could make it even harder, especially heading into an election year?
AMB. Markarova: Well, in any democracy, Ukraine and the US are both democracies and have good democratic elections and processes. Granted, this is an additional factor, but we believe the American people support us, and we are very grateful to them for the support we have received. we will always remember it. And I know that the majority of politicians on both sides of the aisle have strong bipartisan support as well. And I sincerely hope that Ukraine will continue to unite the Ukrainian people through this electoral process.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, we will be closely monitoring the next few days and weeks and thinking about Ukraine. Thank you for your participation.
AMB. Markarova: Thank you.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oksana-markarova-ukrainian-ambassador-face-the-nation-transcript-06-04-2023/ Transcription: Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova About “Face the Nation”