Speed Reads

pushed to the brink

Biden to fill Ukraine ambassadorship, vacant since 2019

President Biden on Monday nominated Bridget Brink, who has been the U.S. ambassador to Slovakia since 2019, to be America's new ambassador to Ukraine, The New York Times reports.

According ot her official bio, Brink has worked for the State Department since 1996, holds degrees from Kenyon College and the London School of Economics, and "speaks Russian and Serbian, as well as basic Georgian and French."

Brink's confirmation would be a significant first step toward restoring normal diplomatic operations in Ukraine and re-opening the American embassy in Kyiv, goals Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the U.S. plans to pursue following their Sunday meeting in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The U.S. closed and evacuated its embassy in Kyiv in the weeks leading up to Russia's invasion on Feb. 24.

There has been no confirmed U.S. ambassador to Ukraine since 2019, when former President Donald Trump removed Marie Yovanovitch from the post after she clashed with Trump lawyer Rudy Guiliani over his alleged attempts to convince Ukrainian officials to open investigations into Trump's political rivals. The current acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is Kristina Kvien.

William B. Taylor, who served as acting ambassador from June 2019 through the end of that year, told the Times he expects Brink to have bipartisan support in her upcoming Senate confirmation hearings. "It will be great to have a Senate-confirmed ambassador out there who clearly has the authority to speak to the president," Taylor said.