Sullivan concludes tenure as U.S. ambassador to Russia, leaves Moscow By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. ambassador to Russia John Sullivan walks previous members of the Federal Protecting Service as he arrives to attend a memorial service for Mikhail Gorbachev, the final chief of the Soviet Union, on the Column Corridor of the Home of Unions in Mo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – John Sullivan, a Trump appointee who informed Reuters earlier this yr it could take “a crowbar” to get him out of Moscow, has left Russia after ending his tenure as U.S. ambassador there, the U.S. embassy within the nation mentioned on Sunday.

“U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation John J. Sullivan has concluded his tenure as U.S. envoy and departed Moscow at present,” the embassy mentioned on its web site. It mentioned Sullivan, who was named to the put up in 2019 by former President Donald Trump, had served within the put up for nearly three years.

An official of the U.S. State Division mentioned Sullivan had served “a typical tour size for U.S. Ambassadors to Russia.” 

“Ambassador Sullivan’s departure is deliberate and a part of a traditional diplomatic rotation. He has served a full tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, managing probably the most important bilateral relationships on this planet throughout unprecedented instances,” mentioned the official, who didn’t need to be in any other case recognized.  

The embassy mentioned Sullivan would retire from public service, after a profession spanning 4 a long time and 5 U.S. presidents, together with service as deputy secretary of state and in senior positions on the Departments of Justice, Protection, and Commerce.

It mentioned Elizabeth Rood, who has served as deputy chief of mission since June, would assume duties as cost d’affaires on the Moscow embassy till a successor arrives.

Sullivan served as ambassador to Moscow throughout Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, which plunged U.S.-Russia relations to depths not seen for the reason that Chilly Conflict.

A loquacious grandson of Irish immigrants, Sullivan informed Reuters in an interview in March that he wished to remain on as ambassador to advocate for Individuals detained in Russia, together with basketball star Brittney Griner and former Marines Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan. Reed was launched in April.

He mentioned he had informed colleagues at dwelling “they’ll have to make use of a crowbar to pry me out of right here as a result of I am not leaving till … they both throw me out or the president simply says, ‘Look, you gotta come dwelling.'”

As relations deteriorated, Trump’s Democratic successor, Joe Biden, determined to retain Sullivan, an institution Republican lawyer who doesn’t converse Russian however whose affection for Russia dates to his childhood admiration of the Soviet hockey group.

On Saturday, Sullivan attended the funeral of the final Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. Gorbachev, who ended the Chilly Conflict with out bloodshed however failed to forestall the collapse of the Soviet Union, died on Tuesday aged 91. Present Russian chief Vladimir Putin didn’t attend the memorial occasion.

The State Division official mentioned the US would “proceed to condemn unequivocally the Kremlin’s aggressive warfare towards Ukraine and stay steadfast in our dedication to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

  The official mentioned Washington deliberate to announce the subsequent ambassador to Moscow “quickly,” however declined to say who that is perhaps.

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