Key Russian official related to probe is leaving the U.S.

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Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak will be leaving his post and returning to Moscow, after the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the change Monday.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry Kislyak’s departure after 9 years of service in the U.S. was “all planned in advance” and is a part of the normal rotation of their officials.

However, his departure is noteworthy given his role in the firing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his communications with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the 2016 election. Undeniably, Kislyak has been at the center of tumultuous US-Russia relations over the past year and a half and is suspected to be Russia’s top spy, and spy recruiter in Washington, according to a claimed report by CNN in March.

Kislyak’s replacement will be Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov, and his departure date hasn’t been announced. The US-Russia Business Council will be hosting a farewell reception for Kislyak on July 11th.

“Ambassador Kislyak has served as Russia’s representative to the United States since 2008 and has been a reliable and thoughtful interlocutor for the American business community during his time in Washington,” says the invitation, posted online.

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