Trump to nominate retired general to be U.S. ambassador to Ukraine


U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to the Camp David presidential retreat from the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump intends to nominate Keith Dayton to be the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the White House said on Friday, a year after Trump removed the previous envoy.

Dayton, a retired Army lieutenant general, currently serves as the senior U.S. defense adviser to Ukraine and director of the George C. Marshall Center in Germany.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Dayton would replace Marie Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who was recalled in May 2019.

In November, Yovanovitch told a House of Representatives impeachment inquiry of Trump that she was ousted from her post after coming under attack from the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Trump was impeached by the House in December on charges of pressuring Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son and obstruction of Congress. Trump was acquitted by the Senate in February.

Russian troops seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and annexed it after a referendum that Kiev and its Western allies say was illegal. The Ukrainian government has also been embroiled in a conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014 that has killed more than 13,000 people.

Reporting by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Leslie Adler

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