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July 09, 2014 AT 6:44 AM
An aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the country has given the green light for career diplomat John Tefft to be appointed U.S. ambassador to Moscow. Russian officials say privately that Tefft, a former ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia and Lithuania, is not entirely to Moscow's liking, but his candidacy has been approved following calls by Putin for better relations with the United States. Ties are at a low point, particularly because of the crisis in Ukraine.