Top US diplomat in Moscow leaves post, will retire

The United States Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan has left his post as the top US diplomat in Moscow and will retire, the embassy announced Sunday.

Sullivan departs amid a period of heightened tensions between the United States and Russia not seen in decades. He leaves after nearly three years as ambassador in Moscow, where he oversaw the embassy as it faced increasing restrictions imposed by the Russian government.

Sullivan concluded his tenure as US envoy and departed Moscow on Sunday, the US Embassy in Russia said in a press statement.

“Following his departure, he will retire from a career in public service that has spanned four decades and five US presidents, including service as the Deputy Secretary of State and in senior positions at the Departments of Justice, Defense, and Commerce,” the statement said.

Elizabeth Rood would assume duties as Charge d’Affaires until the ambassador’s successor arrives, according to the embassy.

On his last day as ambassador, Sullivan attended the public farewell ceremony for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday.

Speaking after the ceremony, Sullivan told CNN he had the honor to “represent the United States, President Biden, our government, the people of the United States to pay tribute to such a remarkable man, a great man, a statesman who changed the world, with his vision for peace, for transformation in his own country and in the world.”

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