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U.S. Ambassador Sullivan Returns to Moscow Following Putin-Biden Summit

Sullivan and his Russian counterpart were recalled to their respective countries after President Joe Biden described President Vladimir Putin as a “killer.” Karel Navarro / AP / TASS

The United States’ Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan has returned to his posting in Russia on Thursday after he was recalled to Washington amid a major diplomatic fallout between the two powers.

Sullivan and his counterpart, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov, were recalled to their respective countries for consultations — an unprecedented move in recent history — after President Joe Biden described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer.”

Antonov returned to Washington earlier this week. 

The U.S. envoy told Interfax he is “delighted” to be back after two months of absence

“Ready to work with the [U.S. Embassy in Russia] team toward progress on U.S. foreign policy priorities, and with #Russia on our goal of a stable and predictable relationship between our countries,” Sullivan said via the U.S. Embassy spokesperson’s Twitter account.

Biden and Putin agreed to return their respective ambassadors to Washington and Moscow during ther June 16 summit in Geneva as a gesture of easing strained diplomatic ties. 

“The meetings in Geneva were positive. Now that I am back in Moscow and Ambassador Antonov is back in Washington, I will work tirelessly to take the practical steps necessary to achieve the goals identified at the summit,” Interfax quoted the U.S. envoy as saying. 

Russia this week announced it will resume direct flights with the U.S. and a number of other countries starting June 28. 

In May, Russia formally designated the U.S. an "unfriendly" state, barring its embassy from employing Russian nationals. The only other country on that list is the Czech Republic.

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