Ambassador Kurt Volker / REUTERS

Former U.S. envoy for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker has announced he is stepping down as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

"Today, I informed ASU [Arizona State University] President Crow and Mrs. [Cindy] McCain that I believe the recent media focus on my work as the U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations risks becoming a distraction from the accomplishments and continued growth of the Institute, and therefore, I am stepping down as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership," he said in a statement on October 7.

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"I know the Institute is well equipped with a first rate team of staff and trustees to continue its progress in the future," he said.

Volker had been working with Cindy McCain, Arizona State University and the McCain Institute's first rate team of trustees and staff for the past seven and a half years.

The McCain Institute implements programs and initiatives aimed at making a difference in people's lives across a range of critical areas: leadership development, human rights, rule of law, national security, counterterrorism and combatting human trafficking.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Volker had served as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations since July 7, 2017. He resigned late in September 2019 after the publication of a whistleblower's complaint stating that U.S. President Donald Trump had allegedly exerted pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This complaint also mentioned Volker.