US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan will return to the US, Axios reported with reference to the State Department.
“Ambassador Sullivan will return to the United States this week to visit his family and meet with members of the new administration, with whom he has not had the opportunity to consult since he agreed to continue serving in his post indefinitely,” the State Department spokesman said, noting that the ambassador “will return to Moscow in the coming weeks.”
Axios previously reported that US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan refuses to leave the country, despite Moscow’s recommendations to do so.
According to the outlet, Sullivan was summoned to a meeting with presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, who recommended that he return to Washington for consultations with officials of President Joe Biden, but the ambassador continued his work in Moscow.
According to people familiar with Sullivan, he believes that if the Russian authorities want him to leave the country, they will have to force him to do so.
On April 16th, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow that Ushakov suggested that Sullivan “go to his capital and hold detailed serious consultations there.”
On April 15th, the US Treasury announced that 15 Russian citizens and 25 Russian companies were included in the sanctions list for Russia’s “malicious activities” – for conducting cyber-attacks, interference in elections and for the situation in Crimea. Also, ten Russian diplomats are being expelled from the United States. In addition, the US Treasury has introduced new sanctions on the Russian government debt.
In response, on April 16th, Russia closed the entry of eight current and former American high-ranking officials, banned the hiring of Russian and third-country nationals in the US diplomatic mission, and also announced its intention to denounce an agreement with the United States that regulates the movement of diplomats in the host country.