US taps ex-envoy to NATO Volker to resolve Ukraine crisis: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 07, 2017 7:02 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has appointed Kurt Volker, the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, to serve as a special representative to Ukraine, according to a media pool report citing State Department official R.C. Hammond.

"Volker will coordinate all State Department efforts to bring a resolution to the conflict created when Russia invaded Crimea and later eastern Ukraine," according to the report citing Hammond, a senior adviser to Tillerson.

Volker was a career diplomat who served as permanent representative to NATO under Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic President Barack Obama. He is currently a foreign policy and national security expert at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Volker did not sign a letter from more than 90 Republican foreign policy veterans who pledged to oppose Trump, a real estate magnate with no government or foreign policy experience.

Volker said he had concerns that any letter from "national security intelligentsia" could backfire.

"He would actually use it as a bragging right," Volker told Reuters in March. He said he had no intention of working for Trump but wanted to be free to offer advice to any future president, and that such a letter could prompt Trump to hold a grudge. [http://reut.rs/21FKITo]

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)