U.S. Ambassador to Russia Leaving Post to Retire

WASHINGTON — The U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, ended his tenure as America’s top diplomat in Moscow on Sunday after nearly three years, spanning the Trump and Biden administrations, and will retire from a lengthy career in government service, the embassy announced. His departure comes as Russia’s war with Ukraine is in its seventh month.

His public service career lasted four decades and included positions as deputy secretary and in senior roles within Justice, Defense and Commerce.

Elizabeth Rood will replace Sullivan as the chief of mission in Russia until a replacement is selected by President Joe Biden.

Sullivan was present at a Moscow farewell ceremony for Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday. Gorbachev died Tuesday.

While relations between Russia and the United States remain tense, their departure will be announced. The war between the U.S. and Russia has been slowing down since February when it invaded Ukraine. Both sides trade combat strikes and make small gains in the east or south. Both Russian and Ukraine have seen thousands of troops killed and injured, and Russia’s bombardment of cities has killed countless innocent civilians.

The U.S. has placed numerous sanctions against Russia, and given billions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine. Recently, the U.S. moved to a long-term support strategy.

In April 2021, Sullivan headed back to the U.S. for consultationsafter officials in Moscow “suggested” he follow the example of the Russian ambassador to Washington who was recalled from Washington after Biden described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer.”

Sullivan is a Bostonian and was nominated to the post by President Donald Trump. He was confirmed by Senate with strong bipartisan support in December 2019 as ambassador for Russia. Biden requested that Sullivan remain at the position when Biden assumed office in December 2018.


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