01:00 GMT22 June 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US State Department plans to fill soon the position permanent ambassador to Ukraine that has been vacant since the departure of the previous ambassador in 2019, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a congressional hearing.

    "We are trying to move forward on that [nomination] as quickly as possible," Blinken told the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday. "It is a priority for us and for the President [Joe Biden]. I want to make sure that we have the strongest possible person leading the strongest possible team in Ukraine."

    Blinken pointed out that there is a special procedure of moving forward with an ambassador nomination in the State Department and they are in the midst of nominating a new diplomat for Ukraine.

    The last US ambassador for Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was removed from her post by ex-President Donald Trump in May of 2019.

    Blinken also said that US President Joe Biden had invited the Ukrainian leader to Washington in the coming weeks. 

    On Sunday, an American news outlet Axios published an interview with Zelenskyy in which he expressed surprise and disappointment over the fact that he was not informed about the US intentions to waive the sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in advance after Biden supposedly had offered him “direct signals” that Washington was preparing to block the project.
    Donald Trump, Ukraine, US, Antony Blinken
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