March 3, 2024
The United States's ambassador to Russia left his post in Moscow on Sunday amid the most strained relations between the two countries since the Cold War.

The United States’s ambassador to Russia left his post in Moscow on Sunday amid the most strained relations between the two countries since the Cold War.

The envoy, John Sullivan, was picked to be ambassador to Russia in 2019 by President Donald Trump, and his nomination passed the Senate with a 70-22 vote. He was one of a small group of Trump-appointed diplomats to be asked by the Biden administration to stay in their post, according to Bloomberg.

Following his departure, announced in a statement from the U.S. embassy in Russia, Sullivan will retire from a career in public service.

Russia Gorbachev's Funeral
US ambassador to Russia John Joseph Sullivan, centre, walks to the coffin of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev inside the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions during a farewell ceremony in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. Gorbachev, who died Tuesday at the age of 91, will be buried at Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery next to his wife, Raisa, following a farewell ceremony at the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions, an iconic mansion near the Kremlin that has served as the venue for state funerals since Soviet times. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)
Alexander Nemenov/AP

US AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA MEETS WITH COUNTERPARTS IN ‘PRE-SCHEDULED MEETING’

Sullivan was an advocate for increased communication between Russia and the U.S., especially during as contentious a time as ever more than six months into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

When asked in a June interview with TASS whether he thinks the U.S. and Russian embassies could be shut down, he responded, “They could be, they could very well be, although I think it would be a big mistake.” He said the only way the U.S. would shut down its embassy would be over security concerns and noted there was no intention within the U.S. government to do so.

In the same interview, he gave a pessimistic reading of future Russo-American relations. When asked about how long he thinks it will take for relations to be normalized, he responded, “Years, if not longer. For businesses — it’s going to take a long time. And that’s when people are in a position to want it, and right now they are leaving, so we’re not even thinking about that.”

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Sullivan worked under five presidents across four decades in the public service.

The statement from the U.S. Embassy in Russia said Deputy Chief of Mission Elizabeth Rood will assume duties as Charge d’Affaires at the embassy until Sullivan’s successor is appointed.

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