"I was talking to Foreign Minister Lavrov yesterday and Ambassador Antonov, who's going to go to Washington, he does it the other way around. You have to do all of the consultations with the [Russia's lower house of] Duma before you get actually formally nominated to the other country," Tefft told reporters in the Russian city of Vladimir.
In March, US media reported, citing US President Donald Trump administration sources, that former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman had been offered the post of the US ambassador to Russia. Huntsman was said to have accepted the offer. In July, Sergey Rogov, Scientific Coordinator at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences told the Izvestiya newspaper that the US Senate had not considered Jon Huntsman’s candidacy for replacing John Tefft as US ambassador to Russia.
In May, a source told Sputnik that Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee supported Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov as a candidate for the post of Russia’s ambassador in Washington replacing outgoing Russian Ambassador to US Sergey Kislyak.
Kislyak has been Russia’s ambassador to the United States since July 2008, and will reportedly return to Moscow on July 22 and later work in the upper house of Russia’s parliament, Federation Council, acting on behalf of one of Russia's governors. There were numerous speculations, especially in US media, over Kislyak’s alleged activity of spreading Russian influence in the United States, including during the 2016 US election. The Russian officials have firmly denied the allegations.