US President Donald Trump has nominated former Utah governor Jon Huntsman for the post of U.S. Ambassador to Russia, as reported by the White House Press Office.
"Governor Jon Huntsman has had a distinguished career as a politician, diplomat, and businessman," the release says.
The US media previously reported that the former governor had agreed to President Trump's proposal that he head a key diplomatic mission. Now, Huntsman's appointment must be considered by the US Senate.
Former US ambassador to Russia John Tefft also said that he was expecting Jon Huntsman's arrival to lead the diplomatic mission.
Huntsman is 56 years old. He has seven children, including two adopted daughters from China and India. He was born into a Mormon family, and worked as a Mormon preacher in Taiwan for two years. Throughout his career, Huntsman has alternated business and politics: he has served as US ambassador to Singapore under Bush the elder, as the governor of Utah under Bush, and as Ambassador to China under Obama; he has also served on the Board of Directors for Chevron, Caterpillar, Ford and Hilton. He was a Republican presidential candidate in 2012, but quickly withdrew from the presidential race. He currently heads the Atlantic Council, an influential think tank.
Huntsman has criticized Obama's proposed policy of "resetting" relations between the US and Russia. At the same time, he has advocated interaction between Washington and Moscow in the sphere of arms control, but insists that the relations between the two states should be viewed more objectively.
According to Ukrainian publication Ekonomichna Pravda, companies affiliated with Huntsman are founding shareholders of several large assets in Ukraine.
For example, Huntsman International Corporation, which registered in Utah, was a co-owner of the Ukrainian-American joint venture LLC Huntsman-Stirol in the early 2000s.
The business partner of the American company for this enterprise was the Horlivka concern Stirol, which at the time was owned by a US citizen of Ukrainian origin, Alexander Rovt.
In 2010, the concern Stirol, whose production facilities are located in the separatist-held territory of the Donbas, was bought by Ostchem Holding, which is owned by Dmytro Firtash.
Jon Huntsman's core business in Ukraine is currently represented by the Kyiv LLC Huntsman-NMG, the company through which Huntsman International Corporation is engaged in the sale of chemical products and materials of the Russian ZAO Huntsman-NMG (Obninsk).