Anatoly Antonov, former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs has been confirmed as Russia’s new ambassador to United States. Antonov replaced Sergey Kislyak, who has been embroiled in a controversy around the alleged collusion of the Trump administration with Russia.
“According to the President’s decree, Anatoly Antonov is appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United States and the permanent observer of the Russian Federation at the Organization of American States in Washington,” the statement on the Russian presidential website said.
Antonov is an experienced Russian diplomat, with a background in defense and security issues. He is considered a tough negotiator and a hard liner, but in favor of stronger cooperation between Russia and the U.S.
Antonov’s appointment comes at a time when U.S.-Russia relations are at an all-time low, following another round of anti-Russian sanctions. Moscow retaliated by ordering more than 700 U.S. diplomats to leave Russia.
Mainstream media have described Antonov as a ‘hardliner’ and a ‘no nonsense’ negotiator.
Despite hopes that the Trump administration would work towards improving relations with Russia, Moscow and Washington are standing on opposite sides in Ukraine, Syria and have radically different approaches to solving the current key global problems.