President-elect Joe Biden has asked John Sullivan to continue to serve as US ambassador to Russia, Bloomberg reported, citing sources who declined to be identified.
Along with Sullivan, several other appointees of outgoing President Donald Trump were similarly requested to stay at their diplomatic posts, according to the report.
Sullivan was picked to serve in the office by President Donald Trump a little more than a year ago. Most of the other Trump officials are expected to resign as soon as the next administration steps in, and be replaced with Biden's picks, mostly ex-Obama administration officials the president-elect has worked alongside.
Biden had started picking nominees for high-ranking positions in the future administration already in November, including for the key diplomatic posts. On Saturday, he chose veteran diplomats Wendy R. Sherman and Victoria Nuland as deputy secretary of state and undersecretary for political affairs, respectively. In November, Antony Blinken was nominated as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's successor.
Picking Obama-era officials for key posts in the administration, along with promoting the new slogan of "America is back!", has prompted analysts to suggest that Biden's foreign policy will make a significant shift from Trump's "offshore balancing" to an approach that will very much resemble the foreign policy strategies of Obama, namely, collective diplomacy and military interventions.
Sullivan succeeded Jon Huntsman, who served as ambassador from October 2017 to October 2019. His appointment initially raised hopes in Moscow that it would help foster a better relationship between Washington and Moscow. Former Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak said at the time that Sullivan would help to end the "political football" between the US and Russia.