Huntsman Resigns After ‘Historically Difficult’ Term as US Ambassador to Russia
Angela Stent on Ambassador Huntsman’s furnishings: &# 171; Russia was not so easy to deal with&# 187;
John Huntsman, head of the US diplomatic mission in Russia, will leave office in October 2019
Huntsman worked in Moscow during a difficult time of mutual sanctions, expulsions of diplomats and statements by the US intelligence community that Russia systematically interfered in the 2016 US presidential election..
Georgetown University professor Angela Stent says she is not surprised by Huntsman’s decision to step down. According to her, the former governor of Utah did everything he could in the diplomatic post:
“This time was very difficult for him, considering the expulsion of diplomats and sanctions … He tried to do everything in his power, but now, on the eve of the elections, he sees that relations between the US and Russia are not getting better, so it’s time to get home, ”noted Stent.
In October 2017, shortly after his arrival in Moscow, Huntsman tried to establish a dialogue between the two countries, but this task was not easy.
“I think he did everything that was possible in these very difficult circumstances,” explained Stent. “It was not so easy to deal with Russia.”.
This is not only about Russia’s position in the international arena, but also about the latest incidents within the country. Over the past month, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of the city of Russia – such a large-scale protest movement in the country has not been seen for many years. On July 27, during a protest in support of unregistered candidates to the Moscow City Duma, 1,127 people were detained, and police officers acted harshly, batons were used to disperse, several people were injured.
The actions of the police were immediately condemned by representatives of the Western media. The US State Department issued an official statement after it became clear that there was an American journalist among the detainees, but several hours after the publication of materials about the actions of the Russian police from the State Department, there was no assessment of the events that took place. Stent believes that in this way the representatives of the White House did not want to aggravate the situation, but adds that she expected to see at least some manifestation of support for the protesters and those arrested..
It is unlikely that relations between Russia and the United States will improve soon, so John Huntsman’s decision to resign came as a surprise to few..
“He has other political ambitions. I think he is going to return to Utah and run for governor of the state, “said Angela Stent..
Huntsman had already served as Governor of Utah, which he left in 2009 as U.S. Ambassador to China, so few were surprised by his decision to return to a political career in the United States..