Who is Sergey Kislyak?
It has been revealed by the Washington Post that Jeff Sessions, the US attorney general, met Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on two occasions last year. Sessions did not disclose the conversations when asked under oath during his Senate confirmation hearing in early 2017 about possible contacts between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
The first meeting occurred when Kislyak was one of a group of ambassadors to approach Sessions as he was leaving the podium at an event at the Republican National Convention in July. The second incident – in September – was a private meeting held in the then-senator’s office. That meeting took place as US intelligence officials were investigating Russian interference in the presidential election, reported The Guardian.
But who is Kislyak, the man behind the scandal?
A career diplomat raised in the Soviet era, Mr. Kislyak, 66, has interacted with American officials for decades and been a fixture on the Washington scene for the past nine years, as reported in The New York Times.
According to his official biography, Kislyak has served in the Russian foreign ministry for four decades. He also served as ambassador to Belgium, permanent representative of Russia to Nato, and as deputy foreign minister. He is considered by US intelligence sources to be a top Russian spy-recruiter in Washington, according to CNN, which cited unnamed US officials.
The Russian ambassador has been invited by think tanks to discuss arms control and talk about foreign policy. He always defend Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and assail Americans for what he portrayed as their hypocrisy, reported The New York Times.