Trump’s Next Envoy to Russia Has a Mountain to Climb

First John Sullivan must get through Congress, which wants to question him about Ukraine. Then he must deal with a hostile Moscow.

Dispatching such a senior ranking diplomat to the job sends a positive signal, some experts say. “The fact that Trump has chosen someone from such a high position to be ambassador is seen in Moscow as a welcome sign [that] the president is ready to invest more in bilateral relations and that there is political will going forward,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of the political consultancy R.Politik and a scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

“Often we hear that it doesn’t matter who is the ambassador, but I think for [the] Russian-American relationship, it is very important,” Stanovaya said. “The tone and behavior of the ambassador can have a big effect in shaping relations.”