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Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov attends a 2015 news conference in Moscow, Russia. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Putin appoints new Russian ambassador to U.S.

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has appointed a former deputy defense minister as Russia’s new ambassador to the United States.

The Kremlin said on Monday Putin has replaced Sergei Kislyak, whose tenure ended in July, with Anatoly Antonov, a deputy foreign minister and former deputy defense minister seen as a hardliner regarding the U.S.

The outgoing ambassador played a prominent role the controversy over Russia’s possible involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned after lying about contacts with Kislyak. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election after reports that he hadn’t disclosed meetings with Kislyak.

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