Allies Defend Kurt Volker, Diplomat Caught Up in Ukrainegate

Volker resigned his diplomatic job last Friday; later this week, he’ll appear before the House Intelligence Committee to answer questions about his role in U.S. foreign policy and his interactions with Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney.

“I think he’s been mischaracterized by the media,” said Phil Breedlove, a retired Air Force general who led U.S. European Command and served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe. “Our nation asked Kurt to do this job. He didn’t go seeking for this job. He has plenty of work.”

Breedlove said Volker was singularly focused on drawing attention to Ukraine’s plight. “Kurt was able to keep Ukraine’s problems in the forefront of the current conversation. He was able to bring a positive spotlight to advance those issues to help aide Ukraine in the long term…He tries to work in places where he can reach left and right and pull people into solving a problem and work in a bi-lateral sense… I think it’s sad to see a magnificent human being like this, working to mainly benefit Ukraine, dragged into something with political overtones”

Steven Pifer, a former ambassador to Ukraine, now a Brookings Institution fellow, said in an email, “I know Amb Volker — he worked very hard to help find a settlement to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and, when it became clear that Moscow was not ready for that, to maintain international attention on and support for Ukraine.”

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