US ambassador leaves Russia amid tensions

John Sullivan, the US ambassador to Russia, is about to retire. He left Moscow and his deputy will hold the post until the arrival of his successor.

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The basics in brief

  • John Sullivan ends his diplomatic career and retires.
  • The 62-year-old was the US ambassador to Russia recently and has left the country.

Amid enormous tensions between Russia and the United States, US Ambassador John Sullivan left Moscow to retire. The US embassy announced, on Sunday, in Moscow, that the diplomat appointed by US President Donald Trump in December 2019, finished his mission after nearly three years.

The 62-year-old is ending his career after four decades in public service under five US presidents. Sullivan, who has repeatedly criticized Russian policy, was also US Deputy Secretary of State. She added that until the arrival of the new ambassador, Sullivan’s representative, Elizabeth Rudd, would conduct business at the embassy.

Sullivan offered his final greetings to the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow with thousands of mourners on Saturday. The diplomat repeatedly spoke of authoritarian tendencies, judicial arbitrariness and human rights violations in Russia.

Sullivan returned home for three months last year after tensions escalated between Russia and the United States. Only after a summit meeting between Kremlin President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden in Geneva last June did he resume his official business in the Russian capital. The United States and Russia have had to drastically reduce the number of their embassies’ staff as part of sanctions and counter-sanctions.

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