The Russian Ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has returned to Washington, DC, after spending almost three months in Moscow, the Russian embassy tweeted Sunday, days after US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to send both the US and Russian ambassadors back to their posts during their meeting in Geneva last week.
The ambassadors’ absense had sent a signal that diplomatic relations between the two countries had hit a new low.
Antonov told Russian news outlets that he was in an “optimistic mood” before returning to Washington after the Biden-Putin summit.
The US Ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, is scheduled to return to Moscow in the coming days.
The State Department did not immediately respond when asked about his precise date of return.
Antonov was recalled from Washington about three months ago after Biden called Putin a killer, and Sullivan left Moscow almost two months ago after Russia suggested he return to Washington for consultations. Not having an ambassador in either country has made conducting basic diplomacy even more difficult at a time when relations are already severely strained.
The Russian Embassy in Washington said in a statement in March that Antonov was “leaving for Moscow for consultations,” where “during his meetings in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies, it is planned to discuss ways to rectify Russia-US ties that are in crisis.”