Amid the ongoing escalation along Ukraine borders on the part of Russia, the appointment of a U.S. ambassador is of strategic importance, a Ukrainian defense pundit has stressed.
Oleksandr Danyliuk, former advisor to the minister of defense, now heading the Defense Reform Center non-profit, has urged the U.S. Senate to approve Keith Dayton, given his experience and competencies, Guildhall reports.
"Given a mounting threat on the part of Russia, it is vital for Ukraine to have in the country an official U.S. envoy with the relevant authority and competencies. We urge the U.S. Senate to approve as soon as possible Keith Dayton's candidacy for the post of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine," said the expert.
Read alsoU.S. Senate committee approves Dayton as ambassadorial nominee for Ukraine"Given Lieutenant General Keith Dayton's experience gained in the Defense Department and the George C. Marshall European Center For Security Studies, taken into account his extensive expertise and challenges that Ukraine and the West in general are facing, he is a perfect nominee for the U.S. Ambassador's post in Ukraine. Russia is going for an escalation, and already now, his presence here is needed by the whole civilized world," Danyliuk concluded.
Keith Dayton: Background
In May 2020, the then-U.S. President Donald Trump announced his pick for the post of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, naming Keith Dayton.
On September 23, 2020, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Keith Dayton as an ambassadorial nominee for Ukraine. His candidacy is now awaiting final Senate approval.
In January 2021, Anthony Blinken, ahead of his appointment as Secretary of State, said the administration would carefully consider Dayton's candidacy.
Former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, completed her mission early, late May 2019, having been sacked from her post by Trump.
Former EUCOM chief, Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Lieutenant General (retd) Ben Hodges earlier praised Dayton's nomination, saying he was a perfect pick for the spot and that he was looking forward to his confirmation.
Latest escalation in Donbas
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russian Federation is trying to put pressure on Ukraine by strengthening troops on the border. At the same time, he assured that Ukraine is ready for any provocations and continues to defend at the negotiations the position of introducing a more effective ceasefire in Donbas.
According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Russia may try to move its troops deep into the territory of Ukraine, and is also preparing to provoke Ukraine into a military response.
According to the Deputy Office of the President of Ukraine Roman Mashovets, Russia is trying to disrupt the peace process in Donbas, in particular, since the beginning of the year, more than 570 violations of the silence regime have been recorded.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Russia to reaffirm its commitment to a politico-diplomatic settlement of the situation in Donbas, which has led to a dead end.
The Pentagon press service said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had reiterated to his Ukrainian counterpart in a phone call Thursday "the U.S. commitment to building the capacity of Ukraine's forces to defend more effectively against Russian aggression."
Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday held their first phone call since Biden took office. The U.S. president "affirmed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea."