Advertisement

Russia's ambassador finishes assignment in U.S.

By Allen Cone
Russia's ambassador finishes assignment in U.S.
Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak poses for a picture after NASA astronaut William Shepherd was awarded the Russian Medal for Merit in Space Exploration on December 2 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. On Saturday, the Russian Embassy announced his assignment in Washington had concluded. Photo by Joel Kowsky/NASA

July 23 (UPI) -- Sergey Kislyak, who has been linked to possible meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has finished his tenure as Russia's ambassador to the United States, the Russian embassy announced.

"Ambassador S. Kislyak has concluded his assignment in Washington, D.C. Minister-Counselor D.Gonchar will act as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim," the embassy posted Saturday on Twitter.

Advertisement

On Jun 26, the nation's Foreign Ministry said Kislyak was departing as ambassador as part of a regular rotation "all planned in advance."

Kislyak's replacement in Washington will be Anatoly Antonov, Russian state media said at the time. Antonov is currently the deputy foreign minister and previously served as deputy minister of defense.

RELATED Mike Rogers: NSA not about particular parties, viewpoints

Kislyak met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on May 10 with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. During that meeting, Trump shared classified intelligence information with the Russians and called fired FBI Director James Comey a "nut job."

Also, Kislyak met with several members of Trump's campaign.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was fired on Feb. 13 -- 24 days after Trump took office -- for failing to disclose the nature of a meeting with Kislyak before Trump's inauguration.

Advertisement
RELATED Scaramucci vows 'dramatic action' to plug White House leaks

The ambassador also met with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions. In Senate confirmation hearings to become attorney general, Sessions failed to disclose those meetings. Later, Sessions recused himself from Russian investigation matters, but has said, including in testimony in Congress, he met with Kislyak in his capacity as a senator from Alabama and did not discuss campaign or policy issues.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that intelligence intercepts suggest that Sessions may have discussed campaign matters with Kislyak during their meetings. Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement that the attorney general "stands by his testimony from just last month before the Senate Intelligence Committee."

Senior adviser Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Trump, also met with Kislyak last year and did not disclose it to congressional and federal officials.

RELATED Jeb Bush blasts Republicans regarding Russian probe

He became the U.S. ambassador shortly before Barack Obama became president. Kislyak, who was trained as an engineer, joined the Foreign Ministry in 1977. Between 1985 and 1989, he was an envoy to the United States, specializing in arms control. Then, he served similtaneously as Russia's ambassador to Belgium and NATO, and later was a deputy foreign minister.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement