Jon Huntsman has been confirmed as Washington’s man in Moscow, following the departure of John Tefft on Thursday.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed the appointment of Huntsman, a former envoy to China, alongside new U.S. envoys to Afghanistan, Bahrain and an assistant state secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.
The Russian media and officials have portrayed Huntsman as a “hardliner” at a time when Russian-U.S. diplomatic relations have soured over election meddling allegations.
Appointed by the Trump administration in July, Huntsman said in last week’s confirmation hearing that “there is no question” that Moscow interfered in the U.S. presidential election.
Huntsman wrote on Twitter after his confirmation that he was “honored and humbled” to serve in the new capacity.
Huntsman's Russian counterpart, Anatoly Antonov, extended his congratulations. “I wish him success in restoring Russian-American relations,” he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
Tefft left Moscow on Thursday after nearly three years in the post.