U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan will return to Moscow “this week,” two months after leaving the post amid worsening relations between the United States and Russia, Department of State spokesman Ned Price said on June 21.
After their June 16 summit in Geneva, President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced their ambassadors would soon be returning to their missions in a bid to lower tensions.
“That’s in part because we remain committed to open channels of communication with the Russian government, both as a means to advance U.S. interests but also to reduce the risk of miscalculation between our two countries,” Price said.
Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov returned to the United States on June 20, telling Russian media that he is optimistic and wants to help build “equal and pragmatic” relations.
Antonov was recalled in March following a comment by Biden indicating he agreed that Putin is a “killer.”
Relations between Russia and the United States have deteriorated further since Biden took office in January, with Washington sanctioning Moscow over cyberattacks, election meddling, and the poisoning and jailing of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.
Sullivan was recalled for consultations in April as the United States and Russia announced tit-for-tat sanctions and diplomatic expulsions.