Moscow names new United States envoy

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as he departs Joint Base Andrews in Maryland U.S

President Vladimir Putin on Monday appointed Russia's former Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov to be the country's next Ambassador to the United States.

Antonov was originally considered for ambassador to the United Nations when it was assumed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win the USA presidency, but instead became deputy foreign minister. From 2011 until late a year ago, the former Soviet military leader was deputy defense minister.

Antonov takes over from Sergei Kislyak, whose contacts with members of President Donald Trump's campaign team made him a central figure in the row over Russian influence over the USA presidential election. In February 2011, Antonov became Deputy Defense Minister.

Former Russian Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak had been Moscow's envoy in Washington since July 2008, and returned to Moscow in July to work in the upper house of Russia's parliament, Federation Council, acting on behalf of one of Russia's governors. The Russian officials have firmly denied the allegations.

Since becoming deputy foreign minister past year, Antonov has acted as a liaison between the foreign ministry and the military.

President Trump's first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned after lying about contacts with Kislyak.

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