Biden nominates new US ambassador to Ukraine

This undated file photo shows US ambassador to Slovakia Bridget Brink (left). (PHOTO / US EMBASSY IN SLOVAKIA VIA XINHUA)

WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Bridget Brink for US ambassador to Ukraine, a vacant post since May 2019.

The announcement on Monday by the White House came shortly after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin held a press conference at an undisclosed location near the Polish-Ukrainian border following a secrecy-shrouded visit to Kyiv, where they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described Bridget Brink, a Michigan native, as "deeply experienced in the region, who'll be a very strong representative for the United States in Ukraine"

Blinken told reporters he shared with Zelensky "a number of things" the United States is committed to regarding Ukraine in its military conflict with Russia, "including President Biden's intent to nominate a new ambassador to Ukraine, Ambassador Bridget Brink."

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Blinken described Brink, a Michigan native appointed by former President Donald Trump to serve as the US ambassador to Slovakia in August 2019, as "deeply experienced in the region, who'll be a very strong representative for the United States in Ukraine."

The United States has been without a Senate-confirmed ambassador to Ukraine since May 2019, when Trump recalled then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch over claims she was undermining the former president's efforts to press Ukraine to investigate the Biden family's business ties with the country.

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Blinken also said US diplomats, who left Ukraine due to the war, will return to the country next week and "start the process of looking at how we actually reopen" the US embassy in Kyiv, which ceased operation in the lead-up to Russia's military operation in Ukraine.