Ukraine, Senator Bob Menendez, Belarus discussed on All Things Considered
This is all things considered from NPR news. An update now on two important diplomatic vacancies. One is the post of U. S ambassador to the Ukraine. The last woman who held that Senate confirmed job was a central figure in President Trump's impeachment. And now the president's pick for the job is facing some lingering question in his own confirmation hearing. NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports President Trump's ouster of the ambassador to Ukraine featured prominently in his impeachment trial. Marie Ivanovich face to smear campaign by Trump's private lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who had been pressing Ukraine to get dirt on Vice President Joe Biden. Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, says that's still happening Rudy Giuliani and a cast of unsavory Ukrainian characters of knowledge of their efforts to use Ukraine. To interfere in U. S politics. Others in the Senate seem intent on amplifying their efforts. Menendez wants the new nominee, retired Lieutenant general Keith Dayton, to avoid playing into this and avoid any meetings with Giuliani. Senator I'm not going to commit to that, because I believe that as an ambassador, I would have the obligation to meet with any U S citizen and hear them out. It was a home. Dayton has been a defense attache in Moscow, a security advisor for the U. S on the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and in recent years has run the George Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany. He's well versed on Ukraine, but his answers frustrated both Menendez and another Democrat Chris Murphy. So at the end of the hearing, he did offer this reassurance. Ify is the U. S Ambassador and key have any indication that there is any kind of election interference going on using Ukraine as a azalea ever to do that? I would, of course, report that directly to this committee. I think you have a right to know that I think I have an obligation to report that we. Dayton says his priorities in the country, if confirmed, would be to help Ukraine fight corruption and beef up Ukraine's Navy and Air force. Next door in Belarus. The U. S is reviving diplomatic relations in part because of Russia's aggression. In Ukraine. Career diplomat Julie Fisher has been tapped to run the U. S embassy in Minsk. Our relationship with Belarus languish for more than a decade. And after Russia's illegal seizure and occupation of Crimea, and it's manufactured war in Ukraine stone Basque region, we began to see signs of interest from the Belarussian sign. Belarus recently bought US crude oil to decrease its dependence on Russia and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Minsk earlier this year. But the's warming ties will be tested by an election this Sunday, and Fisher face questions about that the first component to ensuring that we can continue to grow this relationship. Not see steps backward in the conduct of this presidential election. The long time ruler Alexander Lukashenko is facing a united opposition in the run up to this election, and his regime has been cracking down. There will be no international monitors, though Fisher says the U. S embassy will be watching the vote closely. What we are trying to get Johnny is basically to ensure that there is space to ensure their space for more than one voice. In this country. Lukashenko kicked out the last U. S ambassador to Belarus in 2008 after the US accused his government of human rights violations and tighten sanctions. Michelle Kelemen NPR NEWS Washington You're listening to all things Considered from NPR News. Casey ar w sponsors include HBO Max presenting an American Pickle, based.