The Russian State Duma on Thursday approved the nomination of former Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov as Moscow’s next ambassador to Washington.
He will succeed Sergey Kislyak, the Russian diplomat at the heart of the Trump-Russia scandal in Washington D.C.
Antonov, who became a deputy foreign minister after leaving the Defense Ministry in December, was described by one source who has met him as a “bull-terrier.”
He is expected to take a much more vocal and direct approach to diplomacy than Kislyak.
“Russia and the United States are simply doomed to positive cooperation,” Antonov was quoted by the TASS News agency as saying following his confirmation.
“We have to fight the chief evil — international terrorism — together,” he said.
Antonov’s candidacy was sponsored by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and will now be submitted to Russian President Vladimir Putin for final approval, TASS reported, citing a source on the Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee.