Bridget Brink knows the former Soviet republics well: the current US ambassador to Slovakia has previously served in two of them, Georgia and Uzbekistan. During her career, this athletic 50-year-old has also served in Serbia and Cyprus, having joined the State Department in 1996 after studying in Ohio and at the London School of Economics. She is not unaware of the White House either, having worked for a time on the National Security Council under Barack Obama.
Ukraine, at the heart of Donald Trump’s first impeachment
Bridget Brink therefore had the desired profile to become ambassador to Ukraine, which led Joe Biden to announce his appointment on Monday, April 25. Time was running out: Washington had no ambassador to Ukraine since 2019, despite the importance of relations between the two countries. Since kyiv’s independence, Washington has been an essential ally for the young republic.
In 2019, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was the victim of a campaign orchestrated by Rudolph Giuliani, then Donald Trump’s unofficial emissary, and by influential figures in Ukraine, some of whom are suspected of corruption. It thwarted the plans of the US president’s allies, who were pressuring kyiv for information targeting Joe Biden. Donald Trump had obtained his departure. These efforts will lead to the first impeachment of the Republican President.
A charge d’affaires, without the authority or weight of an ambassador
Since then, a charge d’affaires has represented Washington in kyiv, but without having either the authority or the political weight of an ambassador. For many observers, the presence of an ambassador could have made it possible to avoid certain episodes of cacophony between Washington and kyiv since the beginning of the crisis with Moscow.
→ EXPLANATION. The United States, a superpower without ambassadors
Whose fault is it ? To Joe Biden, who took some time to decide, just like for twenty other countries (of lesser importance). The name of Bridget Brink has been circulating since the beginning of February. Blame it, too, on the Republican senators, who are trying to slow down the process of Senate appointments. Bridget Brink, appointed by Donald Trump to her current position in Slovakia, should not experience such a blockage.