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Russia’s US ambassador Kislyak steps down

July 23, 2017, 1:33 UTC+3

Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission Denis Gonchar will take over his duties

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Sergey Kislyak

Sergey Kislyak

© AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

WASHINGTON, July 22. /TASS/. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak has stepped down as Russia’s envoy to the United States and Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission Denis Gonchar will take over his duties, says a statement of the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. published on Saturday.

"On July 22, 2017 Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak has concluded his assignment in Washington, D.C. Pending the arrival of his successor, Mr. Denis V. Gonchar, Minister-Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission, will act as Charg· d'Affaires ad interim," the statement reads.

In late June, Yuri Ushakov, an aide to the Russian president, sidestepped reporters’ questions about the appointment of a new Russian envoy to the United States, pointing out that the information usually remains secret before an official announcement. Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that a possible rotation of the position such as Russia’s ambassador in Washington was routine work.

On May 18, Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) International Affairs Committee endorsed Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov as Ambassador to the US, a source familiar with the committee’s closed session told TASS.

"The committee gave its consent to appoint Antonov, nominated by the Russian Foreign Ministry, as Russia’s Ambassador to the US," the source said.

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