On Thursday, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov announced that his country had given its approval to the appointment of Lynne Tracy as the new US ambassador to Russia.
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"We have given the agrement. In fact, they requested the agrement for her a while ago. They announced that she was nominated for this position," he pointed out.
Asked about the possibility of both countries resuming contacts beyond purely technical channels, Riabkov recalled that the appointment of Tracy must first be approved by the U.S. Senate.
"We will take very seriously any sign of willingness to move towards improvement, whether it be public signs or some actions. Unfortunately, so far, the trend is the opposite and it is heading towards the total collapse of relations," he said.
President Joe Biden nominated Tracy as ambassador to Russia on Tuesday, at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Moscow over the Ukrainian conflict.
If all the customary procedures are completed, she would become the first woman to head the U.S. diplomatic mission in Moscow, succeeding Ambassador John Sullivan.
Lynne Tracy earned a B.A. in Soviet Studies from the University of Georgia in 1986, and a J.D. in 1994 from the University of Akron School of Law. She served as "number two" at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 2014 to 2017. Previously, she has held diplomatic assignments in Armenia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan.
She was also a senior adviser on Russia at the State Department and director for Central Asia at the White House National Security Council.