Sidelining Hillary, Obama Tabs Pyatt US’ Man in Greece

US Ambassador in Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt will be the next US Ambassador to Greece, Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini reported on May 6. Pyatt was selected by the US State Department.

He is an experienced diplomat who was cast on the spotlight during the leaked phone conversation with US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland during the Ukraine-Russia crisis in 2014.

Pyatt has dealt with energy issues as Ukraine is an important transit state for Russian gas to Europe and has experience with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Pyatt is a career Foreign Service Officer (FSO) and not a political appointee, a former US diplomat to Athens told New Europe on May 6. “As a career Foreign Service Officer, Pyatt’s nomination is a victory for reason and sanity in a rough and tumble US election year,” he said.

Coming from Kiev with a lot of crisis management experience, he can deal with the difficult situation that Greece is right now.

His appointment is a victory for US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and US State Secretary John Kerry over Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who would have preferred the slot remain open so she could name her person if she wins, the diplomat said.

“There was undoubtedly pressure from the Clinton camp to hold the slot open for a well-known person of her choosing, but the powers that be prevailed and another career diplomat is going to crisis-stricken Athens,” the diplomat said.

“Some Greeks may not like the fact that Washington’s guy is coming from Eastern Europe, but so be it. He knows how to work with the IMF, and he clearly understands pipeline politics. And he does know how to handle the Russians.”