Ambassador nominee for Ukraine seeks quick embassy reopening

May 10, 2022, 2:05 AM | Updated: 2:12 pm

Bridget Brink, nominated to be U.S Ambassador to Ukraine, talks before she testifies before a Senat...

Bridget Brink, nominated to be U.S Ambassador to Ukraine, talks before she testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

              Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., introduces Bridget Brink, second from right, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib).
              Bridget Brink, nominated to be U.S Ambassador to Ukraine, talks before she testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Ukraine promised senators Tuesday she would work to make Russia’s invasion of that country a “strategic failure,” in a war-zone appointment that for the time being will focus more on coordinating Western weapon shipments for Ukraine’s forces than on diplomacy.

Bridget Brink, who has spent the majority of her 25-year diplomatic career in former Soviet republics, spoke to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ahead of what’s expected to be her easy Senate confirmation.

The post has been vacant since former President Donald Trump abruptly forced out Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in 2019. She later became a key figure in the first impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Committee Republicans and Democrats alike Tuesday emphasized getting Brink confirmed and in place in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, as soon as possible, as Ukraine’s forces are in their fourth month of battling invading Russian troops, with the help of an extraordinary campaign of military and financial support by the United States and European allies.

“It’s absolutely crucial to have an ambassador,” Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, told Brink. The United States closed its embassy in Kyiv in the weeks before Russian forces rolled in to Ukraine in a so-far unsuccessful attack on a pro-Western Ukrainian government eager to ally with NATO and the European Union.

Brink told senators she would work to fully reopen the U.S. embassy in Ukraine’s capital and take up her work in the country, but said she could give no timeframe for that. She noted the outside of the embassy complex appeared to have what she called superficial damage.

Russian forces have launched occasional strikes on the capital but failed in their initial attempts to surround and lay siege to the city.

Advancing U.S. strategic interests in Ukraine “means being present,” she said.

Much of her work as the war rages will involve working with U.S. and other military leaders overseeing the billions of dollars of weapons and aid that the U.S. is pouring into the country, as Russian forces regroup to try to take control of more of Ukraine’s east and south.

“Most people assess that these next few weeks and maybe longer are critical to the outcome of this war of choice” on Russia’s part,” Brink said.

“What we are trying to do as an administration is move security items as fast as possible to Ukraine,” Brink said.

Serving U.S. strategic interests in a stable, peaceful Europe means working to ensure “that Russia’s effort to dominate Ukraine is a strategic failure,” she told senators.

Brink’s nomination is expected to move quickly to a vote by the committee and then the full Senate.

The administration’s ambassador nominations have begun moving relatively quickly through the Senate. Ambassador nominees for South Korea, Chad and Australia getting their Senate hearings or winning confirmation in recent days.

That’s after long months in which three Republican senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida, blocked action on dozens of appointments to pressure President Joe Biden on unrelated issues. Objections included Hawley’s demand that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin resign over U.S. handling of its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - In this file photo, a GameStop sign is displayed above a store in Urbandale, Iowa, on Jan. 2...

Associated Press

GameStop terminates CEO, former Amazon executive brought for modernization

Shares of GameStop are plunging before the opening bell after the company fired CEO Matthew Furlong, the former Amazon executive that was brought in two years ago to turn the struggling video game retailer around.

8 hours ago

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Altman on T...

Associated Press

OpenAI CEO suggests international agency like UN’s nuclear watchdog could oversee AI

Artificial intelligence poses an “existential risk” to humanity, a key innovator warned during a visit to the United Arab Emirates

1 day ago

Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Missing Mount Rainier climber’s body found in crevasse; he was celebrating 80th birthday

Search crews on Mount Rainier have found the body of a man matching the description of an 80-year-old solo climber reported missing

2 days ago

Washington gun restrictions...

Associated Press

Judge rejects attempt to block new Washington state gun restrictions

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request to block a new Washington state law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles

3 days ago

FILE - A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference, April 28, 2015,...

Associated Press

Microsoft will pay $20M to settle U.S. charges of illegally collecting children’s data

Microsoft will pay a fine of $20 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally collected and retained the data of children

3 days ago

FILE - OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman gestures while speaking at University College London as part of his ...

Associated Press

OpenAI boss ‘heartened’ by talks with world leaders over will to contain AI risks

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said Monday he was encouraged by a desire shown by world leaders to contain any risks posed by the artificial intelligence technology his company and others are developing.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Ambassador nominee for Ukraine seeks quick embassy reopening