The U.S. ambassador to Russia has resigned after two years as he considers a run for governor in his home state of Utah, the state’s Salt Lake Tribune newspaper reported Tuesday.
Jon Huntsman served as the U.S. envoy to Moscow for two years during a fraught period in relations between the two countries. During his tenure, Washington and Moscow clashed over a number of issues, including Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its arrests of U.S. citizens Paul Whelan and Michael Calvey.
Huntsman sent his letter of resignation to U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“American citizenship is a privilege and I believe the most basic responsibility in return is service to country,” Huntsman said in his resignation letter. “To that end, I am honored by the trust you have placed in me as the United States ambassador to Russia during this historically difficult period in bilateral relations.”
The ambassador said that the U.S. “must continue to hold Russia accountable” when its behaviors threaten the country and its allies.
“While much of what divides us is irreconcilable, there are common interests we cannot ignore,” he added.
Huntsman’s resignation is effective Oct. 3.