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Biden nominates Bridget Brink as first U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 3 years

Bridget Brink is presently U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic and she formerly served as senior adviser and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department. There, she was responsible for matters covering Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. File Photo courtesy U.S. Embassy to Slovakia
Bridget Brink is presently U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic and she formerly served as senior adviser and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department. There, she was responsible for matters covering Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. File Photo courtesy U.S. Embassy to Slovakia

April 25 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden will nominate U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia Bridget Brink to the same diplomatic post in Ukraine, the White House said Monday.

Biden will appoint Brink to the post of U.S. ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Ukraine, which is the formal title. That post has been vacant for about three years.

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With Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, the diplomatic office has more significance now perhaps than it's ever had in its 30-year history. Since the last ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, left in 2019, the diplomatic role has been filled on an interim by various State Department officials.

Brink is presently U.S. ambassador to the Slovak Republic and formerly served as senior adviser and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department. There, she was responsible for matters covering Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

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"If confirmed, Ambassador Brink will lead our diplomatic mission in Ukraine with dedication and distinction," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. "Her decades of experience make her uniquely suited for this moment in Ukraine's history."

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Brink's lengthy history in the State Department also includes being deputy director for southern European affairs, special assistant to the undersecretary for political affairs and Cyprus desk officer.

The post of Ukraine ambassador was left vacant when former President Donald Trump dismissed Yovanovitch from the role -- a move that was investigated as part of Trump's first impeachment trial. Yovanovitch had complained that the State Department was being "hollowed out from within" under Trump's leadership.

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The impeachment resulted from discussions between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump had asked the Ukrainian leader to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, who was then an anticipated challenger for Trump in the 2020 election. Yovanovitch's role as top U.S. envoy to Ukraine was related to some of the proceedings.

Trump was ultimately impeached by the Democrat-controlled House and acquitted in the Republican-held Senate.

The Senate must confirm anyone who is nominated to serve as a U.S. ambassador.

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