Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Moscow’s Likely New Ambassador To U.S. ‘Tough’ And ‘Not That Easy To Work With’

Washington’s most notorious ambassador is going home. Sergei Kislyak, 66, has been due to return to Russia since last year, after serving throughout the Obama years. But his departure became the subject of fierce speculation when it emerged that Kislyak had communicated with key members of President Trump’s team before he took office. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Kislyak’s replacement has been approved by two parliamentary committees and is now awaiting formal appointment by President Vladimir Putin. His name is Anatoly Antonov, a 62-year-old career diplomat known as a shrewd arms control negotiator and hard-liner on America. Like Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Antonov belongs to a generation of Russian diplomats who started their careers during the Cold War. A native of Omsk, Siberia, Antonov worked his way through the ranks after graduating from the elite Moscow State Institute of International Relations with a doctorate in political science. What’s unusual about Antonov is that he also served as a deputy defense minister, which led the European Union to blacklist him for his role in the war in Ukraine, which began in 2014.



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