President Donald Trump will nominate former Utah Gov. and diplomat Jon Huntsman to be the United States ambassador to Russia, the White House announced Tuesday.
"Governor Jon Huntsman has had a distinguished career as a politician, diplomat, and businessman," the White House said in a statement. "He currently serves as Chairman of both the Atlantic Council, a premier foreign policy think tank, and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation."
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"His robust record of public service includes service as U.S. Ambassador to China and to Singapore, Deputy United States Trade Representative, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development," the statement continued. "He was also twice elected Governor of Utah."
The position of U.S. envoy to Moscow, which requires Senate confirmation, is especially high-profile today because of the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Reuters noted.
Huntsman, a Republican, served as the ambassador to China during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011 and the ambassador to Singapore from 1992 to 1993. He was Utah's 16th governor from 2005 to 2009.
If Huntsman is confirmed, he will be heading to Russia amid the ongoing federal investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Trump has said he wants to improve relations with Russia. Trump previously criticized Huntsman as too deferential to China when the latter sought the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
UPDATED 9:28 A.M.: This post was updated to include part of the White House statement.