WORLD / EUROPE
US envoy to Moscow to return to US
Published: Apr 20, 2021 06:13 PM
Washington's envoy to ­Moscow will return to the US for ­consultations, the US 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 US 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 between the United States and Russia," the statement quoted Sullivan as saying.

The announcement came amid a new spike in tensions between Moscow and Washington over a litany of disputes, including alleged meddling in US elections.

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

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

Sullivan's announcement came after Moscow recalled its own envoy 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.

On Friday, Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Putin's top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, had recommended that Sullivan leave for Washington to conduct serious consultations.
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