The plane flown by Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, canceled for consultations, at 9 p.m. 20 min. It took off from Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport in Lithuanian time. The plane will initially fly to New York, from where the ambassador will travel to Washington, Russian news agencies reported.
“In the light of the outcome of the presidential meeting, I look forward to working constructively with my American counterparts to develop a level playing field and pragmatism,” Antonov was quoted as saying by Ria Novosti. He added that he was “optimistic”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday after a meeting with his US counterpart Joe Biden that Moscow and Washington had agreed to return ambassadors.
Diplomatic ties between Moscow and Washington reached a point of crisis when Mr Biden took office and accused the Kremlin of meddling in US elections and cyber-attacks.
After Biden equated Putin as a “killer,” Russia took an unprecedented step in fighting to recall its ambassador, Antonov, and said U.S. envoy John Sullivan should also return to Washington.
In May, Russia officially declared the United States an “unfriendly” state and banned Russian citizens from working at the country’s embassy. In addition to the United States, only the Czech Republic is on this list of “unfriendly” countries.
No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of ELTA.