OREANDA-NEWSUS Ambassador John Huntsman has completed work in Russia and is returning home. In the coming hours, he will fly to the United States, a source familiar with the details of the departure told the Russian media. There are no ceremonies at the embassy or airport on the occasion of departure. Huntsman’s successor is expected to arrive in Moscow soon, but his name is still unknown. The diplomat believes that the last two years have become the most difficult in relations between Moscow and Washington since the Cold War.

"But we kept the lines of communication that were closed when I arrived. We kept the embassy, ​​which, although in a smaller composition, continues to work. Our goal is to stabilize these very important bilateral relations. We are working hard to achieve it and will continue these efforts", he told to reporters after visiting Paul Whelan, who is accused of spying for the United States, at a Lefortovo jail on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, there are many problems in relations between Moscow and Washington. As Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted, a real “visa war” is ongoing between the two countries, Russian diplomatic property in the United States remains under arrest, and the number of embassy staff has been significantly reduced. Disagreements over strategic stability have intensified. However, in a number of other areas, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, it was possible to establish a dialogue, for example, on Syria and Afghanistan.

Huntsman was appointed head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia in October 2017. In early August 2019, he submitted a resignation letter to U.S. President Donald Trump. The head of the White House, Donald Trump, hasn't decided who will become the new head of the United States diplomatic mission in Russia.