Then Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov attends a news conference in Moscow, Russia March 5, 2015. (REUTERS File Photo)
MOSCOW, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree appointing former Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov as the Russian ambassador to the United States, the Kremlin said Monday.
Antonov, 62, has held various positions in the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian diplomatic missions abroad since 1978.
He became deputy foreign minister in charge of military and political security in December 2016 after serving as the country's deputy defense minister for six years.
Antonov's predecessor Sergei Kislyak returned to Russia in July after serving as the Russian envoy to the United States for nine years.
Kislyak had met with senior campaign aides to Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S. presidential race, which later became the center piece of the controversy over Russia's possible involvement in the election.
The Russian envoy was also suspected of being one of Russia's top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington by the U.S. intelligence, according to a CNN report citing senior U.S. officials. The Russian Foreign Ministry strongly rejected the allegations.