The U.S. Senate has approved President Barack Obama's nomination for ambassador to Russia.
John Tefft, a career diplomat specializing in Eastern Europe, was unanimously approved Thursday, filling a post that had been vacant since February.
Tefft has served as Obama's ambassador to Ukraine and former President George W. Bush's ambassador to Georgia and Lithuania.
The approval comes amid the most challenging period in U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with the rivals at odds over what Washington sees as Moscow's interference in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.
Despite the rare show of bipartisanship, Senate Republicans have stalled the confirmation of several other ambassadorial nominations.