Outgoing Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak will work in the upper house of Russia’s parliament, Federation Council, acting on behalf of one of Russia’s governors, Russian media reported Tuesday, citing sources close to the presidential administration.
Earlier this month, the Izvestiya newspaper reported, citing Russian Academy of Sciences US and Canadian Studies Institute Scientific Coordinator Sergey Rogov, that Kislyak would return to Moscow on July 22.
“Russia’s Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak… after returning to Russia, will represent the interests of one of the Russian governors in the Federation Council… Kislyak’s new appointment will begin after regional elections in September but before one of the acting governors names him among the three senatorial candidates,” the sources were quoted as saying by the Vedomosti newspaper.
Kislyak has been serving as Russia’s ambassador to the United States since July 2008. For a long time, the ambassador has been portrayed in mainstream US media as a tool for spreading Russian influence. Such US media outlets as The New York Times and The Washington Post have repeatedly released information, citing sources, about alleged links between US President Donald Trump and member of his campaign team, and Russian officials, including Kislyak.
Russia has repeatedly called on the US to stop the “bullying” campaign against Kislyak, adding that he regularily meets US officials as it is his duty.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the allegations of meddling in the 2016 US election. In turn, the White House has also reiterated that there was no proof substantiating the allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow during the election.
According to diplomatic sources, Kislyak’s replacement, Anatoly Antonov, has been approved by the foreign affairs committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, in late May. Antonov previously served as the Deputy Defense Minister of Russia. Antonov has spent over 30 years in the Foreign Ministry, with his work being focused on issues of security and disarmament. In February 2011, Antonov became Deputy Defense Minister. He was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister on December 28, 2016.