Sergey Kislyak, Putin's Top Diplomat in US, Returning to Russia - NBC Chicago
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Sergey Kislyak, Putin's Top Diplomat in US, Returning to Russia

U.S. officials told NBC News that the decision on Kislyak's departure pre-dated the election meddling controversy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The man at the center of the latest White House controversy, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, was interviewed twice recently by News4's Barbara Harrison. (Published Friday, March 3, 2017)

    Moscow's top diplomat in the United States, the central figure in suspicions about President Donald Trump connections with Russia, is returning to his country after almost a decade in the job, a former U.S. official confirmed Monday.

    Sergey Kislyak, 66, will depart his position as Russian ambassador to the U.S. at the end of the summer as part of a long-planned rotation, two other U.S. officials told NBC News.

    Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov — a hardliner who is under European Union sanctions for supporting the deployment of troops in Ukraine in his former capacity as deputy minister of defense — is being lined up as his replacement.

    The move comes amid investigations by the FBI and Congress into Kislyak's contacts with Trump aides during the 2016 election campaign.

    Sessions Denies Meeting With Ambassador for Trump Campaign

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     Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied wrongdoing in his meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislayh in a Thursday news conference, saying he met Kislyak as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a representative of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    (Published Thursday, March 2, 2017)

    U.S. officials told NBC News that the decision on Kislyak's departure pre-dated the controversy, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday declined to confirm the switch.