January 27
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Last Wednesday, Lynne Tracy, President Joe Biden's nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Russia, pledged to make the release of detained Americans in Russia a priority should she be confirmed to one of the most important and challenging positions in the U.S. diplomatic hierarchy, the Voice of America reports.

The plight of U.S. citizens detained in Russia will be a top priority, Tracy said during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which comes amid continued U.S. arms and other support for Ukraine, which has been fighting Russia for nine months.

Tracy, a career diplomat and current U.S. ambassador to Armenia, has promised to visit Americans detained in Russia, including basketball player Brittney Griner and Marine veteran Paul Whelan .

Biden announced his intention to appoint Lynn Tracy as ambassador to Russia in September, weeks after the departure of John Sullivan, who was appointed ambassador to Russia by former President Donald Trump and remained in office as Russia's invasion of Ukraine plunged U.S.-Russian relations to depths not seen since the Cold War.

It remains unclear exactly when Lynne Tracy will take the post, if she is confirmed, because the Kremlin must agree to accept the appointment.

Lynne Tracy has already worked in Moscow from 2014 to 2017 as deputy chief of mission. She speaks Russian and, if appointed, would be the first female U.S. ambassador to Russia.

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