After a three-year delay, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev will be in charge of a properly appointed ambassador, rather than a temporary charge d’affaires. On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved Bridget Brink, who is currently representing his country in Slovakia, for the position.
The career diplomat was nominated by the Biden administration a few weeks ago. This was confirmed by a unanimous vote, as both parties emphasized the importance of office in Russia’s military operations in the country.
“Having an ambassador there at this critical time as the United States continues to help the people of Ukraine … is a wonderful thing, a good thing and will help advance the cause of peace, security and freedom.” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer confirmed the matter.
Brink was ordered by lawmakers the day the State Department reopened its embassy in Kiev. It ordered the removal of the mission in mid-February, 10 days before the Russian invasion.
“Since we took this important step, we have made additional arrangements to increase the security of our colleagues who are returning to Kiev and have improved our security arrangements and protocols.” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke of the move.
The last US ambassador to Ukraine was Marie Ivanovich. Former President Donald Trump removed him in May 2019 amid scandals over his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, leading to his first impeachment. Since Christina Cavien is currently in office, three people have served as Charge d’Affaires on an interim basis.
Brink has held several positions in the US diplomatic corps during his career, including embassies in Serbia, Cyprus, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
In 2018, Foreign Policy reported that Brink was being considered for Georgia’s ambassador, but Tbilisi denied that the diplomat was favorable to fugitive former President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Georgia’s foreign ministry, however, dismissed the report “Far from reality.”
Bridget Brink was nominated by the Trump administration to be ambassador to Slovakia, confirmed by the Senate in May 2019.
Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the first Minsk agreement signed in 2014 and the final recognition of Moscow’s Donetsk and Lugansk’s Donbas republics. The German- and French-brokerage protocols were designed to give special status to isolated territories within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine formally declare itself a neutral state that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kyiv has insisted that the Russian invasion was completely unpopular and has denied claims that it is planning to forcibly retake the two republics.
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