US, Russia to return ambassadors to their posts

US, Russia to return ambassadors to their posts
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The U.S. and Russia agreed to send their ambassadors back to their respective posts in Moscow and Washington at a summit between President BidenJoe BidenHouse Republican calls second bout of COVID-19 'far more challenging' Conflicting school mask guidance sparks confusion Biden: Pathway to citizenship in reconciliation package 'remains to be seen' MORE and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFox News: 'Entirely unacceptable' for 'NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson' Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia next week MORE on Wednesday. 

“We agreed that they would return to their service,” Putin said at a news conference following a summit with President Biden in Geneva.

Putin did not offer specific timing on the exchange but indicated it could happen over the next few days.

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A senior Biden administration official later told reporters that the two sides agreed "on the importance of having our ambassadors return to their respective capitals" and said John Sullivan, U.S. ambassador to Russia, would "hopefully" be preparing to go back to Moscow following the summit. 

The official said that the U.S. and Russia also agreed to work through "the challenges that we have in sustaining our diplomatic missions."

Russia recalled Anatoly Antonov, its ambassador to the U.S., in March after Biden said in a news interview that he believed Putin to be a killer. John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, flew back to Washington in April amid increased tensions between the two countries.

Returning the two ambassadors to their posts would be a sign of Russia and the U.S. trying to ease tensions from earlier this year.

Wednesday’s meeting between Putin and Biden lasted just under three hours, shorter than expected. Biden said he used the summit to press Putin on a range of issues, including Russia’s state-sponsored cyberattacks, the Kremlin's poisoning and jailing of opposition Alexei Navalny and human rights.

Updated at 8:32 p.m.