The United States has reopened its embassy in Ukraine after three months of closure and named a new ambassador to the country.
US State Department spokesperson Daniel Langenkamp said that the American diplomatic mission in the capital, Kiev, had reopened on Wednesday, shortly before the US flag was raised above the embassy.
“We are officially reopening operations,” he said, adding that a small number of diplomats would return initially to staff the mission.
The White House fully evacuated its diplomats from Ukraine and shut down its embassy ten days before Russia launched a military offensive against the country on February 24.
According to Langenkamp, consular operations would not resume immediately and a no travel advisory from the State Department remains in place for Ukraine.
During the first two months after the closure, US diplomats stayed in Poland, but Charge d’Affaires Kristina Kvien went back to Ukraine on May 2, visiting the western city of Lviv.
Separately on Wednesday, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved US President Joe Biden’s nominee, Bridget Brink, to be the next ambassador to Ukraine. The full Senate is expected to swiftly confirm the veteran diplomat to a crucial position that has been vacant for three years.
Brink, who is currently the US ambassador to Slovakia, has been a diplomat for 25 years.
Many Western countries, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have reopened their diplomatic missions in Kiev during the past month, after Moscow largely withdrew its forces from Ukraine’s north to focus on the complete control of the Donbass region in the east.
The offensive has drawn unprecedented sanctions from the US and its European allies, which have also stepped up military support for Ukraine, sending an array of sophisticated weapons meant to hold off Russia's rapid advances.
Moscow has warned that such a flow of weapons to Kiev will prolong Russia's operation.
The Senate is expected later this week to approve nearly $40 billion in military and humanitarian support for Kiev.