U.S. ambassador to Russia is refusing to leave the country after been advised by the Kremlin

President Biden U.S. ambassador to Russia is refusing to leave the country after been advised by the Kremlin to return home following administrative sanctions, two sources briefed on the situation John Sullivan the respected diplomat who has maintained his position under President Biden from the Trump era is at the centre of the most important initial tests of Biden's resolve. Russia's foreign ministry announced on Friday that it would expel 10 American diplomats and bar current officials such as Attorney General Merrick Garland from visiting Russia. But the Russians did not expel Sullivan. Instead, the Kremlin summoned him to meet with top foreign policy official Yuri Ushakov, who recommended that he return to Washington for consultations with Biden officials. Sullivan's opinion, according to people familiar with his thinking, is that if Putin wants him to leave, he will have to force him out A State Department spokesman declined to comment on the matter Last week, in response to Russian cyber-espionage and interference in U.S. elections, Biden unveiled a series of sanctions targeting the Russian economy. Biden spoke with President Putin last Tuesday and said approvals were also coming in while exploring the possibility of a summit between the two worlds later this year. In announcing the sanctions, Biden called them "proportional" and took care to note that they would not begin a cycle of escalation with Putin. National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan spoke with Russian Security Council Secretary Nicole Petrushev on Monday, discussing a possible presidential summit, and a White House statement said: "there is an agreement to continue to be in touch." Flashback: Last month, Biden agreed on a US tv interview that Putin was a "murderer." The Russian has been accused of poisoning some of his enemies, Putin however reacted by wishing the new president "good health." The ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, was summoned to Moscow for consultations. The diplomatic signal has drawn the Kremlin's displeasure with the Biden administration In response to the new sanctions, Russia expelled Sullivan called him "Personality Non-Greta," "If the Kremlin wants to PNG them, it will be a very expensive step," said Mike McFadyen, the former acting ambassador to Russia under President Obama. "The last ambassador to become a PNG from Moscow was George Cannon, by Stalin in 1952." "I applaud Ambassador Sullivan for continuing his job," he said. Russia is gathering thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine. U.S. officials are working behind the scenes with allies to warn Russia about the cost of capturing additional territory but have made it clear they will not intervene militarily to prevent Russia from becoming a non-NATO nation. The main thing: Biden wants stability and foresight to determine his relations with Putin and Russia, while his administration is focused on China. Ignoring the Kremlin's suggestion to recall Sullivan, the administration is not working to increase pressure while making it clear that Biden decides who his ambassador is, not Putin.



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