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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today that the ambassadors of the United States in Moscow and Russia in Washington, John Sullivan and Anatoly Antonov, respectively, will return to their places of work soon.
The announcement was made in the midst of the summit being held in the city of Geneva, Switzerland, between the U.S. and Russian heads of state.
“Regarding the return of our ambassadors to their place of work, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow and our ambassador to Washington, we have agreed that they will return to their work,” he said.
“As for the timetable, tomorrow or the day after is a pure technicality,” Putin announced, adding that the State Department and the Russian Foreign Ministry will address “the whole range of diplomatic cooperation” because so many issues have accumulated.
Tensions between the Kremlin and the White House spiked in March after President Biden called Putin a “murderer,” after which Moscow recalled Antonov for consultations, and recommended the head of the American legation to leave the country.
In April, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia and expelled ten diplomats for its alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election, its alleged role in the massive SolarWinds cyberattack, and its actions in Ukraine and Afghanistan.
The Kremlin responded with similar measures by adding the U.S. to a list of “unfriendly countries”, which implies that Washington will not be able to hire local staff for its diplomatic representations on Russian territory, and recently limited the movement of American diplomats on Russian territory.
After the meeting, Putin gave a positive assessment of the summit with his American counterpart Joe Biden and added that “there was no hostility” in spite of the existing discrepancies.
“I consider that there was no hostility. On the contrary. Our meeting took place in a principled manner, our assessments differ in many aspects. But from my point of view, both sides demonstrated a desire to understand each other and to seek a rapprochement of positions,” he said.