New ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman meets with Putin

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Putin again expressed condolences to the American people following the Las Vegas shooting which killed at least 59 people and wounded more than 500.

Huntsman has twice served as an ambassador.

Judging by his current attitude and policies, Putin's stay in power will likely mean no improvement in ties with the west, outgoing European Union envoy to Russia, Vygaudas UĊĦackas, wrote in The Observer.

"We stand for constructive, predictable and mutually beneficial cooperation".

Huntsman, 57, who was the ambassador to China for the Democratic administration of Barack Obama before taking a 2012 stab at becoming the Republican presidential nominee, formally severed his ties to the world's third-largest publicly traded oil explorer on September 28, Chevron said in a public filing Tuesday.

Huntsman, a businessman, veteran diplomat and former presidential candidate, came to Russian Federation at a tense time, when the White House-Kremlin diplomatic relations are at a dangerously low ebb.




The former governor was slow to endorse any candidate for the Republican nomination, though he did back Mr Trump once he became the presumptive nominee. But Huntsman then called for Trump to drop out of the presidential race after the release of a 2005 audio in which Trump was captured on a microphone making lewd comments about women.

The former U.S. administration expelled Russian diplomats and closed two Russian diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland back in December 2016 over Moscow's alleged meddling in the United States presidential election. This year marks 350 years since the first diplomatic relations between the two countries were established.

In response, the U.S. suspended issuing non-immigrant visas in Moscow for a week in August and stopped issuing visas at its consulates elsewhere in Russian Federation.

The US and its allies had already levied broad economic sanctions against Russian Federation over its alleged support for pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russian Federation after a referendum in 2014.

Nevertheless, Putin referred to the "below-satisfactory" Russian-U.S. relations during Tuesday's ceremony.

In recent months he has travelled across Russian Federation in a bid to bolster his makeshift election campaign.

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