US ambassador temporarily leaves Moscow.
Tensions between the US and Russia are mounting. The Kremlin had advised the US ambassador in Moscow to return home. This is what John Sullivan is now doing.
Due to increasing disagreements between Russia and the United States, the US ambassador in Moscow is due to travel to the United States this week. John Sullivan announced that he would return to Washington for consultations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recommended that he return home last week after the US expelled ten Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on Moscow.
The punitive measures were due, among other things, to allegations that Russia interfered in the US election last year. Relations are also strained because of the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s dealings with the imprisoned Putin critic Alexej Navalny.
He believes it is essential to speak “directly” with his new colleagues in the US administration of President Joe Biden “about the state of bilateral relations between Russia and the US,” said Sullivan.
Russia had previously called its ambassador Anatoly Antonov back home from Washington for consultations. After US President Joe Biden answered the question in the affirmative in an interview, he considered his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin to be a “killer”. Russia had also responded to the latest US sanctions with punitive measures and, in return, expelled ten US diplomats.
Sullivan said he wanted to come back to Moscow in a few weeks – ahead of a possible summit meeting with Putin. He has not yet agreed but is considering the possibility of a personal meeting with his US colleague in a European country this summer. Several EU countries have already offered to host the event.