Russia says it hopes U.S. ambassador's consultations in Washington won't be in vain

FILE PHOTO: U.S. ambassador to Russia John Sullivan speaks with journalists in Moscow, Russia January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday it hoped U.S. ambassador John Sullivan would use his time usefully in Washington during consultations with members of Joe Biden's administration amid a diplomatic row with Moscow.

Sullivan said on Tuesday he would travel to the United States this week for consultations, days after the Kremlin suggested that Washington recall him amid a diplomatic crisis between the two countries. Sullivan left Russia on Thursday, TASS news agency reported, citing a source.

Russia recalled its own ambassador to Washington last month after Biden said he thought his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin was a "killer", and the two countries imposed sanctions on each other last week.

In a tongue-in-cheek comment, the spokeswoman of the Russia's foreign ministry said she hoped Sullivan's trip to the United States would not prove be a waste of time.

"Consultations with our ambassador are actively being held in Russia," RIA quoted Maria Zakharova as saying on state television.

"We hope that the U.S. ambassador will spend his time usefully in Washington, and that he will focus on consultations with the bodies that oversee the issues in the bilateral relations with Russia to somehow formulate a position that won't lead ties to a dead end."

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by)

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