If any more American political figures want to imperil their careers by having an undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, they’ll soon need to travel to Russia to do so. Buzzfeed News reports that Russia is recalling the controversial diplomat and will bring him home rather than install him in a senior role at the country’s U.N. mission in New York. The 66-year-old Kislyak has served as Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. for ten years, but lately has been at the center of more than one subplot of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and what relationship existed between the Trump campaign and the Putin regime during that time.
Kislyak was on the other end of a phone call that eventually got former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn fired, and meetings between Kislyak and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (which Sessions neglected to disclose during his Senate confirmation hearings) have also come under scrutiny — as have undisclosed meetings with President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Even President Trump’s fully publicized meeting with Kislyak and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in May led to trouble, as Trump is reported to have inadvertently disclosed classified information to the two men during a casual conversation at the White House, possibly compromising a key Israeli intelligence asset within ISIS in the process.
Buzzfeed adds that, according to the Russian media, the country’s deputy foreign minister, Anatoly Antonov, is expected to take over the ambassador job.