<p>WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman resigned after two years as Washington envoy to Moscow, the State Department said on Wednesday, amid speculation that he plans to run for governor of Russia. Utah.
Newspaper reports from his home state of Utah said that Huntsman, a former Utah governor and candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, was weighing another gubernatorial run and would return in early October.
In a resignation letter to President Donald Trump published Aug. 5 by The Salt Lake Tribune, Huntsman thanked Trump for his vote of confidence “during this historically difficult period in bilateral relations.”
“Looking ahead, we must continue to hold Russia accountable when its behavior threatens us and our allies,” he wrote in the letter. “While much of what divides us is irreconcilable, there are common interests that we cannot ignore.”
Huntsman is scheduled to leave his post in October, a State Department spokesman said.
His tenure in Russia came at a time of intense tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
Huntsman was the United States Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011 under former Democratic President Barack Obama. He has served in the administrations of five presidents of the United States.
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