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US Senate confirms John Tefft as ambassador to Russia

he US Senate late on Thursday approved John Tefft as ambassador to Russia.

The 64-year-old career diplomat was nominated by President Barack Obama on July 10. The Senate's foreign relations committee on July 29 recommended the candidacy endorsed by Democrats and Republicans, showing, as experts note, rare unanimity.

The Senate committee held an unscheduled evening meeting to approve the nomination of the former ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia and Lithuania, to be the new envoy to Moscow. The committee chairman said "we cannot afford to wait to send an ambassador to Russia".

Tefft at the hearings made some harsh statements with regard to Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine. At the same time, the diplomat said the United States should talk with Russian partners clearly to be sure they understand the US position and to understand what Russians think.

Tefft served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama, a Democrat, and to Georgia and Lithuania under President George W. Bush, a Republican.

The previous US ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul, left the position in February.

[Source: Itar Tass, Washington, 01Aug14]

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