Jon Huntsman resigns as ambassador to Russian Federation

The Russian Foreign Ministry Marina Lystseva  TASS

The Russian Foreign Ministry

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has submitted his resignation to President Donald Trump and is reportedly mulling another run for governor of Utah.

Therefore, I humbly resign my office as United States Ambassador to Russian Federation, effective October 2, 2019.

Huntsman's time as ambassador was hard from the beginning.

"American citizenship is a privilege and I believe the most basic responsibility in return is service to country", Huntsman's letter begins.

He left office in 2009 to become President Barack Obama's ambassador to China and later mounted an unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. Senators of both parties would probably press a nominee to strongly condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for interfering in US elections.

In the letter to Trump, Huntsman praised the hundreds of Americans who he said were working under "extremely hard circumstances" to further USA interests in Russian Federation.

During his time in Moscow, Huntsman sought to improve relations between the U.S. and Russian Federation.

Huntsman also has taken an unusually direct involvement in the case of Paul Whelan, an American who has been detained on suspicion of spying. No reset or restart is going to help, just a clear understanding of our interests and values - and a practical framework for sustained dialogue. But your story by THREE reporters @pamelabrown @kyliecnn and Caroline Kelly - not even part of your Moscow bureau - (along with some unnamed embassy source) was disingenuous.

Huntsman's resignation came during a hard period of bilateral relations. Last month, Huntsman complained publicly about Russia's refusal to issue visas to 30 new teachers who had been hired to teach at a school that educates the children of U.S., British and Canadian diplomats.

"It is my hope that this will allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed", he added in his letter, according to The Hill.

Most sincerely, Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.

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