International

U.S. envoy to Moscow returning to Washington for consultations

Washington’s envoy to Moscow will return to the United States for consultations, the U.S. Embassy said on Tuesday, after Moscow “recommended” that Ambassador John Sullivan temporarily leave amid soaring tensions.

“Ambassador Sullivan is returning to the United States for consultations this week,” the U.S. diplomatic mission in Moscow said in a statement.

“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,” the statement quoted Mr. Sullivan as saying.

The announcement came amid a spike in tensions between Moscow and Washington over a litany of disputes, including alleged meddling in the U.S. elections, Russia’s troop build-up along Ukraine’s borders and the deteriorating health of President Vladimir Putin’s imprisoned critic Alexei Navalny.

U.S. President Joe Biden is pursuing a tougher line against Mr. Putin but has also proposed that the two leaders meet for a summit in a third country later this year.

Mr. Sullivan said he would return to Moscow “in the coming weeks”, before any meeting between Mr. Biden and Mr. Putin. Moscow has said it is studying the summit proposal.

Moscow recalled its own envoy, Anatoly Antonov, from Washington for consultations in March and last week the former Cold War foes announced a wave of tit-for-tat sanctions and expulsions of diplomats.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 3:31:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-envoy-to-moscow-returning-to-washington-for-consultations/article34370385.ece

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