At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell announced the creation of a new post within the State Department — senior advisor for Russian malign activities and trends, short-named SARMAT, CNBC reported. The post's acronym resembles the name of the top-tier Russian ballistic missile presented by President Vladimir Putin in 2018. According to the State Department, the naming is not coincidental.
It is still unclear who will be appointed to the post, but this person will be tasked with developing "cross-regional strategies across offices."
The announcement of the new post comes amid an ongoing White House campaign aimed at cutting State Department funding, including by eliminating some narrow-focused positions within it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the SARMAT missile along with three other types of top-tier weaponry during his State of the Nation speech earlier in 2018. According to the announcement, the new missile has unlimited range and is capable of penetrating sophisticated missile defense systems.