US Ambassador to Russia Huntsman Steps Down From His Post

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Jon Huntsman, the USA ambassador to Russian Federation, is resigning from his post, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday.

"American citizenship is a privilege and I believe the most basic responsibility in return is service to country", Huntsman wrote in his letter to Trump.

In a resignation letter sent Tuesday morning to President Trump, Huntsman characterized his tenure as a "historically difficult" time in bilateral relations.

Huntsman is a former Utah governor who served as ambassador to China under the Obama administration. "While much of what divides us is irreconcilable, there are common interests". The State Department confirmed details of the Tribune's reporting with regard to Huntsman's resignation. "Failure is not an option, and the people on both sides deserve better".

Huntsman's posting in Moscow was his third overseas diplomatic role.

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"Yet", he later explains to the president, "as I have shared with you and Secretary [Mike] Pompeo, our desire is to return to the United States after two years to reconnect with our growing family and responsibilities at home".

William Courtney, an adjunct senior fellow at the RAND Corporation and former ambassador to Kazakhstan and Georgia, just returned from a trip to Moscow and said Huntsman is widely respected there. Russian Federation has also maintained close ties with major USA rivals, such as Iran and China.

Huntsman was governor of Utah from 2005 and 2009 and is rumored to be considering a run for the position.

Leaks from that investigation generated nearly weekly damaging media reports about Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election, casting a huge cloud over bilateral relations and stymieing Trump's efforts to improve relations with the Kremlin, one of his stated foreign policy objectives. When he became Trump's ambassador to Moscow, he said he would take the job for two years. He had been elected to his second term the year before. Huntsman has been ambassador since 2017.

In 2018, critics called for Huntsman to resign in the wake of what they saw as an embarrassing summit in Helsinki between Trump and Vladimir Putin. "If he decides to run for governor again, it would make me a better candidate", Cox said.

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