BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders have nominated Italy's top diplomat to become the 28-nation bloc's new foreign policy chief for the next five years.
EU summit chairman Herman Van Rompuy said Saturday in a Twitter message leaders chose Federica Mogherini to succeed incumbent Catherine Ashton in November.
The decision comes as the crisis at the EU's eastern border pitting Ukraine against Russia poses one of the biggest foreign policy challenges for the bloc in decades.
Mogherini, a 41-year-old center-left politician, has been Italy's foreign minister only since February, drawing criticism that she lacks experience.
The EU leaders also elected Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to succeed European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in December as EU summit chairman and behind-the-scenes broker of compromises among national leaders.