Utah's ties with the Soviet Union are being strengthened this year.

Salt Lake City will become a sister city to Chernivtsi, Ukrainian S.S.R., when Mayor Palmer DePaulis travels there in June.And retired couples in the Salt Lake area are being sought to trade homes and pensions with Soviet retired couples in Chernivtsi for at least two months starting in mid-June.

The exchange has been approved by the Soviet Peace Committee in Moscow, and three more couples from the Salt Lake area are needed to sign applications by Feb. 20, said Dick Sherwood. Those interested should call Dick or Honey Sherwood at 278-6640.

Salt Lake City currently has four sister cities - Matsumoto, Japan; Keelung, Taiwan; Quezon City, Philippines; and Oruro, Bolivia.

The Soviet of Peoples' Deputies and the Salt Lake City Council have approved the agreement for Chernivtsi to become the fifth sister. DePaulis will travel to the Ukraine June 19-21 to sign the agreement. He will join a Utah delegation that will also visit Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev.

Lowell and Jane Turner will lead that tour, which will contact friendship committees and peace committees in the various cities. The tour will be conducted by the Utah Committee for American-Soviet Relations, which functions as a subcommittee of the Salt Lake Sister Cities Committee.

The June 11-26 tour is open to interested persons in the Salt Lake area. For more information, call Jane Turner, 328-9803, or Lowell Turner, 278-1481.