Putin Appoints Deputy FM Antonov as New Russian Ambassador to US

Putin speaks during a news conference after the G20 summit in Hamburg northern Germany

Russian President Vladimir Putin has selected Anatoly Antonov, a career diplomat specializing in defense and security issues, to replace former spymaster Sergey Kislyak as his chief representative to the U.S.

"By presidential decree, Anatoly Ivanovich Antonov is appointed Russian ambassador to the United States", the Kremlin announced on Monday.

Putin's order relieves Sergei Kislyak of his duties as ambassador and Russia's permanent OAS observer.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin
Handout Getty Images

Relations between Moscow and Washington are at their lowest since the end of the cold war, driven by accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential elections.

The move comes as the USA embassy in Moscow announced it is suspending all non-immigrant visa processing for Russians until September 1 in response to the staff cuts ordered by the Kremlin, The Sun reports.

Also Monday, the U.S. Mission in Russian Federation said it will suspend visa operations in the Eastern European country - the latest move in a diplomatic row between the two nations. From 2011 until late past year, the former Soviet military leader was deputy defense minister.

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