Ukraine has no ambassadors in 18 foreign countries and with one international organization, and at the same time, candidates for appointment as the heads of 13 foreign diplomatic institutions are at the stage of approval. This is stated in the response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the request of the Ukrainian News Agency. "As of January 8, 2020, in the 18 diplomatic missions of Ukraine abroad - 17 embassies and Ukraine’s missions to NATO - the positions of heads are vacant," the response reads. In particular, since late 2015, Ukraine has not had an ambassador to the Russian Federation. The embassy of Ukraine in Ethiopia has remained without a head for the longest time - since April 2009. Also, since 2014, Ukraine has not had an ambassador in Montenegro and Cuba, and since 2015, in Ireland. In 2019, the posts of the permanent representative of the Ukrainian mission to NATO and the heads of the Ukrainian embassies in 12 countries were vacated: at the Holy See in the Vatican, in Sweden, Finland, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Cyprus, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Argentina. From tomorrow, January 10, the ambassador of Ukraine to Kazakhstan will leave the post. "At this time, candidates are at different stages for appointment to 13 posts of heads of foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine," the response reads. The process of appointing ambassadors provides for the nomination of the candidacy to the President by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and its approval, the request of the agreman from the host country, the publication by the head of state of the decree on appointment in case of receiving the agreman, and the execution of credentials. What exactly 13 states are in question in the response of the Foreign Ministry is not specified. "The advisability of representing the state at the ambassador level in each individual country is determined by a number of factors, such as the intensity of bilateral relations, ensuring the level of development of cooperation in strategically important areas, the political leadership’s mood for developing relations," the statement reads. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Foreign Ministry previously denied information that the process of terminating bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia was suspended after the election of Volodymyr Zelenskyy as President.