Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador the U.S., who has been a key figure in a controversy surrounding the alleged links between Trump and Moscow, ended his tenure and will return to Russia.
The information was confirmed by the Russian embassy to the U.S.
Ambassador S.Kislyak has concluded his assignment in Washington, DC
Minister-Counselor D.Gonchar will act as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/180FfyQvXK
— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) July 22, 2017
Kislyak served as Russia’s ambassador the U.S. since 2008, and previously as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs.
He became a prominent figure in the Russian interference controversy, as Kislyak allegedly met with several members of President Trump’s campaign.
After Trump took office in January, reports identified Kislyak had multiple contacts with Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn during the presidential transition.
Following Flynn’s resignation, other key people in Trump’s administration had reportedly met with Kislyak, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Kislyak had been present in the Oval Office during a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Trump, which prompted the U.S. media to report that Trump disclosed classified information concerning ISIL’s bomb-making capabilities.
Trump later defended his right to share intelligence with Russia, but he and the key men in his administration denied any wrongdoing and improper contacts with Russian officials.
According to reports, Kislyak is expected to be replaced by Anatoly Antonov, current Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.
Antonov has been described in the media as a ‘tough negotiator’ and a hardliner in regard to U.S.-Russia relations. His appointment has not yet been confirmed by the Kremlin.
Source: The Hill
Photo: Alexey Agarishev / Sputnik