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U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan in June 2020. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan returned to Moscow Thursday, two months after leaving his post amidst escalating tensions between the two nations.

Why it matters: Sullivan's return comes just after his attendance at last week's U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva. Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, also returned to his post this week, arriving in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

The state of play: Sullivan returned to the United States in April after the Kremlin "advised" him to do so due a fallout between the two counties.

  • The week prior, the United States announced a spate of sanctions against Russia over a litany of misdeeds, including election interference and the SolarWinds hack. As part of the sanctions, the U.S. expelled 10 Russian diplomats.
  • Russia announced retaliatory sanctions the next day, expelling 10 U.S. diplomats and added eight current and former U.S. officials to its no-entry list.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled Antonov to Moscow in March following comments by Biden in which he referred to Putin as a "killer."

The big picture: In a statement released Thursday by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Sullivan said that he was "pleased" to be back and that he looks forward to working to advance the "goal of a stable and predictable relationship between the United States and Russia."

  • "We should cooperate where it is in our mutual interests, and where we have differences — and we do have significant differences — it is important to have an open and frank dialogue," he added.
  • "Now that I am back in Moscow, and Ambassador Antonov has returned to Washington, I will work tirelessly to take the practical steps necessary to advance the agenda set at the summit."

Go deeper

Sep 28, 2021 - World

Russia opens new criminal case against Putin critic Alexei Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a rally in Moscow in September 2019. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russia opened a new criminal case against opposition figure Alexei Navalny that could leave him in jail for an additional decade, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Navalny, who survived an assassination attempt by Russian security forces last year, is already serving out a three-year prison sentence on parole violations that he and Western nations have condemned as politically motivated.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.