Gov. Cox holds video call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky

Apr 10, 2023, 9:30 PM

spencer cox is pictured, he just signed a bill about domestic violence lethality assessments...

Gov. Spencer Cox delivers his 2022 State of the State address. at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Cox joined Inside Sources on Monday to talk about a video call he had with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last week. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As vice chair of the National Governors Association, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox had a video call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last week. He was joined in the conversation with Gov. Phil Murphy (D-New Jersey), who is chair of the association.

On Monday, Cox joined Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson to talk about Utah’s role in supporting Ukraine as it continues to fight back against Russian aggression.

Video call with President Zelensky

Matheson asked the Utah governor to give a little sense of what that conversation was like and why it mattered?

“We see it as a very strategic key initiative for the United States,” Cox said. 

Between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s interest in Taiwan, Cox says the future of the world is at risk.

“And I’m grateful for the support that the United States has given our friends in Ukraine,” Cox said.

Matheson asked, “What were some of the things that you sensed in terms of, ‘Ok, here’s a way we can do this where we don’t have to fight the fake fight and false choice?'”

“I think there was a keen understanding again, both on the Ukrainian side and the American side that they can’t ask that of us and are not asking that of us.”

While Cox says Europe should be doing more, he also acknowledges that all of the American funds spent there need to be accounted for.

“We need a good accounting of the dollars that are being spent there,” he said. “What they are being spent on. (And) making sure there is no fraud involved that they aren’t going to places where they shouldn’t be.”

Economic impact

Economically, Matheson says Utah has ties throughout Ukraine and Europe that are dependent on how this all plays out.

“I think people would be really surprised to learn the deep ties to Ukraine from an economic standpoint and cultural standpoint,” the Utah governor said.

He says there is a business delegation heading to Ukraine in a few weeks to meet with their counterparts. Additionally, Cox says a lot of programmers that were doing work for Utah tech companies were located in Ukraine. 

In addition to the war and the need for supplies, Cox says rebuilding the country will have to take place.

“There are opportunities for Utah companies to help with that,” he said.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard on weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Gov. Cox holds video call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky