Senate votes on key office in Ukraine — Analysis
After a three-year delay, the US Embassy in Kiev is set to have a duly confirmed ambassador in charge instead of a temporary chargé d’affaires. The US Senate approved Bridget Brink for the position on Wednesday. She is currently representing Slovakia in the US.
Biden’s administration nominated the career diplomat a few weeks back. It was confirmed by a unanimous vote, as both parties highlighted the importance of the office amid Russia’s military operation in the country.
“To have an ambassador there at this critical time as the United States continues to help the Ukrainian people … is a wonderful thing, is a good thing, and will help advance the cause of peace, security and freedom,”After the confirmation, Chuck Schumer was confirmed as Senate Majority Leader.
On the same day as the Department of State had reopened Kiev’s embassy, Brink received the mandate from lawmakers. The Russians attacked the mission 10 days earlier than the deadline.
“As we take this momentous step, we have put forward additional measures to increase the safety of our colleagues who are returning to Kiev and have enhanced our security measures and protocols,”Antony Blinken was the Secretary of State.
Marie Yovanovitch served as the US’s last ambassador to Ukraine. Her resignation was announced by former president Donald Trump in May 2019. This followed the scandalous phone conversation between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It led to Trump’s first impeachment. Three people have served as chargé d’affaires on an interim basis since, with Kristina Kvien holding the position at the moment.
Over the course of her career Brink was in many positions with the US diplomatic corp, including embassies at Uzbekistan and Cyprus.
Foreign Policy published a 2018 report that Brink was considered as a nominee for ambassador to Georgia. But Tbilisi, supposedly because the diplomat was too favorite towards the then-fugitive ex President Mikhail Saakashvili, rebuffed this idea.
However, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed it as untrue. “far from reality.”
Bridget Brink was named Ambassador to Slovakia by Trump. The Senate confirmed her appointment in May 2019.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German-brokered protocols were intended to grant the regions that broke away special status in the Ukrainian state.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the two republics.
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