Putin appoints Anatoly Antonov new ambassador to US

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A person who has dealt with Antonov said that he was a tough, military-style man.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Anatoly Antonov, a veteran diplomat who has served in both the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry, as ambassador to the United States.

It's a provocative move, since the 62-year-old Mr Antonov was sanctioned by America's European allies for his involvement in "supporting the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine" while serving as deputy defence minister.

Anatoly Anotonov, born in 1955, graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1978. Antonov has spent over 30 years in the Foreign Ministry, with his work being focused on issues of security and disarmament.

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In 2011, he was appointed deputy defense minister to lend his diplomatic expertise to the Russian military's foreign relations.

Mr Kislyak was also president with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, when they met with Mr Trump in his office shortly after his firing of FBI Director James Comey. He returned to the Foreign Ministry last December to serve as a deputy responsible for military politics, although his eventual nomination as ambassador to the U.S. was expected before any announcement was made.

There were numerous speculations, especially in USA mainstream media, over Kislyak's alleged activity of spreading Russian influence in the United States, including during the 2016 U.S. election. Moscow has repeatedly denied influencing the election and has said that Kislyak's activities in the USA did not go beyond the usual networking expected from an ambassador.

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