Last night (Wednesday), the US President announced Jane Hartley, a former television executive and Democrat donor, as the second-ever woman to hold
Last night (Wednesday), the US President announced Jane Hartley, a former television executive and Democrat donor, as the second-ever woman to hold the post. His perceived apathy towards the UK was met with a frosty response, with one Twitter user exclaiming: “He sucks”.
Ms Hartley was reportedly not Mr Biden’s first choice for the posting, with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg being said to have previously turned down the offer.
Under Barack Obama, Ms Hartley was made ambassador to France after raising around £2million for his 2012 re-election campaign.
The US’s ambassador to London is usually one of the first posts to be filled when a new President takes office, to maintain the strong diplomatic bonds the two nations hold.
Brett Bruen, a former US diplomat who served as White House director of global engagement under the Obama administration, criticised Mr Biden’s delay in making the UK ambassadorship appointment.
READ MORE: Biden calls crisis meeting with EU over Russia: ‘They will move in’
He told the Telegraph that the position “absolutely needs someone more seasoned” to nurture the strained relationship.
Mr Bruen added: “This is an essential relationship for restoring America’s credibility and influence across the globe. We need someone with exceptional skills and decades of experience.
“Because if we get this wrong, if we make one mistake in London, it will reverberate around the world. We need to understand how much has changed since Trump.
“These aren’t the good ole’ days when Hartley and I served under President Obama. Our position in the world has weakened significantly and we no longer have the luxury of sending amateur diplomats abroad.”
However, Germany has so far refused to send even rifles.
According to Politico, behind closed doors Germany has shied away from raising tensions with Russia, and has even taken deterrents off the table – such as banning Russia from international payments system SWIFT.
Biden may not have understood the intricate relations between Europe and Russia. Germany is one of several nations that relies heavily on Russian energy.
Russia has been vying for Germany and the EU to approve the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which would feed the fuel directly into Germany, circumventing Ukraine altogether.
Some EU leaders have attributed the tensions on the Ukrainian border, and the migrant crisis on the border with Belarus, as part of a concerted effort to get EU member states to bend to Russia’s will.
In response, the US is eyeing early February as a time for a US-EU council focused on energy, according to the Politico Playbook.
The US has already diverted natural gas to Europe, and could supply more, as a way of making the bloc less reliant on Russia for energy.
The US is said to want Germany to sanction Russia, including cancelling Nord Stream 2.
Today (Thursday), Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is expected to meet officials from France, Germany and the UK, before travelling to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday.
But Mr Biden’s diplomatic push on the continent has been met by stubbornness from France as well.
On Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron reportedly suggested the EU should not necessarily follow America’s lead when it comes to dealing with Russia.
The French President told the European Parliament that while it was good that Europe was coordinating with the US, “it is necessary that Europeans conduct their own dialogue.”