State Department names special envoy to Ukraine

WASHINGTON, DC - May 19: Kurt Volker, former U.S. NATO ambassador, has been appointed  special representative for Ukraine by the State Department (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Story highlights

  • Volker will be tasked with advancing the objectives of the 2014 Minsk agreements
  • He is expected to hold regular meetings with Ukraine, Russia and others

(CNN)The State Department has tapped Kurt Volker to be its special representative for Ukraine, the department announced Friday.

Volker will be tasked with advancing US efforts to the achieve the objectives of the 2014 Minsk agreements between Ukraine and Russia.
After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the Minsk agreements were reached as an attempt to bring about a cease-fire between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists.
    Volker, a former US ambassador to NATO, will accompany Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Kiev this weekend, where Tillerson will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, following Friday's meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    The State Department said Volker is expected to hold regular meetings with Ukraine, Russia and others.
    "Kurt's wealth of experience makes him uniquely qualified to move this conflict in the direction of peace," Tillerson said in a statement. "The United States remains fully committed to the objectives of the Minsk agreements, and I have complete confidence in Kurt to continue our efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine."
    Volker was appointed as US permanent representative to NATO by President George W. Bush in 2008 and stayed in that role through the first months of the Obama administration.
    A career foreign service officer, Volker also held posts in the State Department and on the National Security Council in the Bush administration. He also worked as an aide to former NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.
    Volker is currently executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.