US Ambassador to the Russian Federation, John J. Sullivan, left Russia on Sunday after completing his tenure as US envoy in Moscow, the diplomatic mission in Moscow announced.
Sullivan, whose career has spanned four decades and five US presidents, has spent almost three years as US ambassador after being appointed in 2019 and is now allegedly set to retire from a career in public service.
Although he was appointed by former President Donald Trump, Sullivan, who had previously served as deputy secretary of state, was asked to stay on by President Joe Biden and has faced historic challenges during his tenure, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February and subsequent war.
Shortly before the war began, Russia analyst Daniel Fried said that Sullivan is in an awful position, calling him America’s last man standing in Moscow.
Following Moscow’s decision to recall its ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, and the Biden administration’s announcement of a new package of anti-Russia sanctions, Sullivan spent a few months in the US last year.
He only returned to Moscow after President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s June meeting.
Amid the Russian military offensive in Ukraine, Sullivan admitted back in June that relations between Moscow and Washington had hit an all-time low which has made any productive cooperation between the countries unlikely.
Ambassador Sullivan also had obstacles within the embassy, including staffing cuts, turnover, and layoffs of staff.
Members of the Biden administration also appreciated Sullivan staying on with the White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, stressing at the time that they’ve relied on his wisdom and guidance on Russia.
The embassy said that until Ambassador Sullivan’s successor arrives, Elizabeth Rood, another diplomat who was the deputy chief of the embassy, will assume duties as charge d’affaires at US Embassy in Moscow.
Rood has been stationed at the embassy since June but has been nominated to be the next ambassador to Turkmenistan.