Senate Confirms John Sullivan as U.S. Ambassador to Russia

“But I will be relentless in opposing Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. elections, to violate the sovereignty of Ukraine and Georgia, and to engage in the malign behavior that has reduced our relationship to such a low level of trust,” Mr. Sullivan said, according to his testimony.

During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Sullivan also waded into the impeachment drama.

Under questioning by Senate Democrats, Mr. Sullivan testified under oath that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was involved in a campaign to oust the ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who later became a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry.

Senate Democrats also asked Mr. Sullivan about Mr. Trump’s request that the government of Ukraine look into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading Democratic candidate for president, and his son Hunter Biden.

Asked if he believed it was appropriate for the president to demand investigations into domestic political opponents, Mr. Sullivan said, “I don’t think that would be in accord with our values.”

Mr. Sullivan needed to be confirmed to make way for Stephen E. Biegun, the current United States special representative for North Korea, who has been nominated as the next deputy secretary of state. It is widely believed that Mr. Pompeo wanted Mr. Biegun in place before he could announce a campaign for the Senate, since Mr. Biegun would assume the role of acting secretary of state if Mr. Pompeo left his current post.

During a joint news conference with Mr. Pompeo in Washington this week, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, praised Mr. Sullivan. “We know him as a very highly professional diplomat,” Mr. Lavrov said. “We’ll be happy to cooperate with him.”

Before joining the State Department, Mr. Sullivan was a partner at the law firm Mayer Brown LLP, where he was co-chair of the firm’s national security practice. From 2010 to 2016, he was chairman of the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialogue, which his State Department biography describes as a governmental advisory committee on United States economic relations with Iraq.

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