US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman (File photo)
US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman (File photo)

US envoy to Russia Jon Huntsman resigns

ANI | Updated: Aug 07, 2019 03:59 IST

Washington DC [USA], Aug 7 (ANI): US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman on Tuesday announced his resignation from the post and is returning to his home state of Utah where he could consider another gubernatorial run.
Huntsman will formally step down from his role on October 3.
In his resignation letter to US President Donald Trump, Huntsman said that he informed him and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo about returning home "to reconnect with our growing family and responsibilities."
"American citizenship is a privilege and I believe the most basic responsibility in return is service to the country. To that end, I am honored by the trust you have placed in me as the United States ambassador to Russia during this historically difficult period in bilateral relations," The Hill quoted him as saying in the letter.
"It is my hope that this will allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed. I pledge my full effort in facilitating a smooth transition that ensures our foreign policy goals are kept in proper focus," the 59-year-old ambassador said.
Huntsman's resignation came amid speculations that he would consider another bid for the post of Utah governor.
In October 2017, Huntsman was appointed as the US envoy to Russia by the Donald Trump administration which came at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over issues including alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, the annexation of Crimea and poisoning of a Russian spy in the United Kingdom.
He reportedly told Trump that he would serve his post for two years.
Huntsman was elected twice as the Governor of Utah in 2004 and again in 2008. In 2009, he resigned from the post and went on to become the US Ambassador to China during the tenure of the Barack Obama administration.
However, the 59-year-old diplomat tendered his resignation in 2011 and launched an ultimately unsuccessful presidential bid.
Last year, calls for Huntsman to resign grew after Trump had appeared to back his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over Moscow's denial in meddling in the 2016 polls during their landmark summit in Helsinki.
Huntsman also held several other posts where he served as US Ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s. He was also a deputy US trade representative under the George W Bush administration. (ANI)