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New US Ambassador to Ukraine: Who is Marie Yovanovitch



On Tuesday, the Senate’s International Relations Committee held hearings on the approval of new US ambassadors in several countries, including Ukraine.

“Ukraine has made significant progress in reforming, but there is still a lot of work ahead,” Marie Yovanovitch said during the hearing:

“Ukraine has advanced in reforming over the past 2 years further than in the first 23 years of independence. I am optimistic about the further progress of the reforms, given the recent important advances such as judicial reform. At the same time, Ukraine still has a lot to do, including meeting the requirements of the IMF, fighting corruption, reforming key sectors and limiting the influence of oligarchs, ”she said.

Jovanovitch thanked Congress for accepting more than $ 1.3 billion in aid to Ukraine, which includes $ 600 million for security sector reform, border security and protection of sovereignty. If her appointment is approved, then in Kiev she will continue to implement the American policy, which is to deepen bilateral relations, support the reform program in Ukraine and protect Ukrainian sovereignty. The latter can be done exclusively within the framework of the Minsk agreements, the diplomat believes.

“Ukraine is making honest attempts to fulfill the Minsk agreements. But Russians and separatists continue to fuel the conflict. We need a lasting security situation to implement the political aspects of the Minsk agreements. This means that Russia and the separatists must stop their attacks, ”Yovanovitch said during a Senate hearing.

Now, the diplomat stressed, there is a surge in military activity in the Donbass due to the actions of the separatists. Sanctions against Russia will continue:

“We clearly told Moscow that the sanctions will remain until Russia fully fulfills its obligations under the Minsk agreements. We do not recognize and will never recognize the Russian attempt to annex Crimea. Our sanctions related to the Crimea will remain until the peninsula is returned to Ukraine. ”

Marie Yovanovitch was born in Canada, in a family of immigrants from Russia and Germany, graduated from Princeton University in New Jersey, where she received a bachelor's degree in history and Russian science, fluent in Russian. Jovanovic worked as Assistant Secretary of State, served as Ambassador to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan and Deputy Head of Mission in Ukraine in 2001-2004, and also worked in US embassies in Moscow, London, Ottawa and Mogadishu.

In Ukraine, she will have to demonstrate diplomatic miracles. Not only because the situation is difficult. Her predecessor, Pyatt, raised expectations to incredible heights - Senators were generous in praising the diplomat.

Earlier, the White House announced the official nomination of a diplomat Mary Yovanovitch to the post of ambassador of the United States in Kiev. Acting State Ambassador Jeffrey Payette is transferred to work in Greece.

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