What the New US Ambassador Bridget Brink Means for Ukraine

Saturday, 5 February 2022

Ukraine is finally about to get a U.S. Ambassador. After three years with Charge d'affaires heading the embassy, after two political scandals and one presidential election, Ms. Bridget Brink is set to take office. 

To find out more about the next Ambassador and what her appointment means for the Ukraine-U.S. relations, read European Pravda editor’s article by Sergiy Sydorenko Rejected by Georgia: Who is Ukraine’s Next U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink.

Although Bridget Brink was temporarily in charge of Ukraine, her expertise in Ukrainian affairs is limited. Ms. Brink is a career diplomat who has worked in the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. National Security Council, and American diplomatic missions abroad since the 1990s.

Some Ukrainian observers describe her as a diplomat who specializes in European "hotspots". This is true to some extent. In 2015, when Ms. Brink became the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State, her areas of responsibility included Ukraine. In private talks with the EP, some individuals who know Ms. Brink personally state that she is well-versed in European Affairs and the European decision-making process. She was also involved in dealing with Ukraine-related issues. 

The rumour also has it that she is in very good relations with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, which must have played a decisive role in her appointment.

Besides, Ms. Brink worked with Georgian affairs for a long time. She served twice in the American Embassy in Tbilisi. Between 2005-2008, she headed the Economy and Politics Department. In 2011-2014, she was Deputy Ambassador, keeping a finger on the pulse of Georgian events even when she left the country. Furthermore, she is fluent in Georgian, which is rare for American diplomats. 

In 2018, Washington wanted to appoint her as U.S. Ambassador in Georgia. Although it would have been a solid choice for a small but important U.S.’s South-Caucasian partner, her candidacy was rejected by Georgian authorities

They deemed her too loyal to former President Mikheil Saakashvili, disregarding the State Department and American representatives in Georgia’s assurance otherwise. 

Read more in Mr. Sydorenko’s article Rejected by Georgia: Who is Ukraine’s Next U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink.

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