U.S. Senate Confirms John Tefft as Envoy to Russia

The U.S. Senate has approved President Barack Obama's nomination for ambassador to Russia.

John Tefft, a career diplomat specializing in Eastern Europe, was unanimously approved Thursday, filling a post that had been vacant since February.

Tefft has served as Obama's ambassador to Ukraine and former President George W. Bush's ambassador to Georgia and Lithuania.

John Tefft of Virginia, who is to be the new U.S. Ambassador to Russia, arrives to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 29, 2014. /AP John Tefft of Virginia, who is to be the new U.S. Ambassador to Russia, arrives to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 29, 2014. /AP

The approval comes amid the most challenging period in U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with the rivals at odds over what Washington sees as Moscow's interference in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.

Despite the rare show of bipartisanship, Senate Republicans have stalled the confirmation of several other ambassadorial nominations.

VOA News / Aug. 04, 2014 08:13 KST