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Russian ambassador back in the US after three-month absence

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Photo: AAP
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Russia’s ambassador to the United States has returned to his duties after his plane landed at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport, marking the end of a three-month absence from the US.

Anatoly Antonov was recalled earlier this year after Moscow protested when US President Joe Biden, in a TV interview, responded affirmatively when he was asked if he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was a killer.

At the same time, the US ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, had headed home under the shadow of new US sanctions imposed on Russia.

They were punishment, Washington said, for Russian cyberattacks on American interests, as well as for allegations of vote tampering.

Relations between the two countries have taken a chill in recent months, as the new Biden administration lashes out against Russian policies.

But Mr Biden and Mr Putin met in Geneva last week and agreed that they would return their ambassadors, in an attempt to reduce diplomatic tensions.

Upon arrival in New York, Mr Antonov said he would be back at work on Monday (local time).

“The task is to simply work and implement the positive words that were pronounced by the presidents,” he said upon arrival from Russia, according to the Itar-TASS news agency.