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US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan has left Moscow to return home, state media outlets reported, after the Kremlin urged the White House to bring him home for “consultations.”
Sullivan departed from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Thursday morning to London, where he is to take a connecting flight back to the US, the Tass and Interfax news agencies reported.
On Tuesday, the US Embassy in Moscow said Sullivan was returning to the US this week for “consultations,” but did not give a specific time of departure.
Sullivan’s departure comes amid high tensions between the Kremlin and President Joe Biden’s administration.
Russia had urged Washington to bring Sullivan home as it announced the expulsion of 10 US diplomats in retaliation to new sanctions and the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats by the Biden administration.
Russia had previously recalled its ambassador to the US amid anger over Biden referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer.”
In a Tuesday statement, Sullivan said:
“I believe it is important for me to speak directly with my new colleagues in the Biden administration in Washington about the current state of bilateral relations between the United States and Russia.”
“Also, I have not seen my family in well over a year, and that is another important reason for me to return home for a visit,” Sullivan added. “I will return to Moscow in the coming weeks before any meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin.”
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Source:: Business Insider