Among the Russian diplomats, there are bright professionals. One of them is the London Ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, and the other recently deceased representative of Russia to the UN Vitaly Churkin. But Sergei Kislyak, until recently, was their perfect opposite.
He was unremarkable career diplomat, who, notwithstanding the important post of Ambassador in Washington — he takes it for 9 years and in the United States and Russia have always held in society very modestly. And if the name Sergey Kislyak and emotions in Russian, it was rather related to Belarusian footballer of the same name who played in the first League for Rubin Kazan.
But after Donald trump became President of the United States, 66-year-old Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak was suddenly everywhere at the hearing — as a key figure in secret contacts between Russia and the headquarters of the trump, which is going to check the FBI and Congress.
Back channel with Moscow
Recently the Washington Post reported that the son-in-law and adviser to trump Jared Kushner (Jared Kushner) at the meeting with Kislyak in trump Tower (Trump Tower) in new York suggested before the inauguration of trump to create a secret communication channel with Moscow. In any case, it was said Kislyak during a conversation with Moscow, overheard by U.S. intelligence.
Advisor to trump on national security issues, Michael Flynn (Michael Flynn) was forced in February to leave his post when he revealed that he secretly discussed with the dubious sanctions and lied about it to the Vice-President Mike Pence (Mike Pence). And the Minister of justice Geoff sessions (Jeff Sessions) was forced to recuse himself from an FBI investigation, when it became known that he had met with Kislyak during the election campaign, but did not report it, despite a direct question at the hearings in the Senate during the discussion of his candidacy.
Contacts between the candidate and the future President and foreign diplomats — it is unusual. Unusual is that Kushner, Flynn and sessions did a lot to hide those contacts that contributed to the emergence of suspicion about the very warm relations with Moscow trump.
Defended the Chernobyl disaster
Sergey Kislyak was born in Moscow, his parents were Ukrainians. He graduated from the Moscow engineering physics Institute and Academy of foreign trade in Moscow, since 1977, worked in the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union and then Russia. From 1981 to 1989 he worked in the United States the Soviet UN mission in new York and then at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. As the first Secretary of the Embassy in Washington, Kislyak received the task to explain to the Americans how there was a nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in 1986, and endeavour to reduce its scope.
“In our country we have very strict safety rules for operating reactors”, — he explained at the time, the New York Times.
He first served as Ambassador from 1998 to 2003 in Brussels, where I was simultaneously the representative of Russia in NATO. In 2003-2008 he was the Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs and, in particular, was responsible for relations with the United States, disarmament and the six-party talks about Iran’s nuclear program. Since 2008 he is the Ambassador of Russia in Washington.
Sharp and attractive
Kislyak described as a skillful professional diplomat who, according to the us Deputy Minister of defense Evelyn Farkas (Farkas Evelyn), can be “harsh, stubborn and charismatic during the same conversation.” He is known more as a technocrat, not an ideologue. The Ambassador speaks excellent English, although with a clear accent. He is friendly and restrained, tells stories, has a sense of humor and rarely expresses hostile feelings towards Americans, but has always been loyal to his superiors in Moscow and always protects political line of Russia.
“He may be attractive and funny and well aware of the important role that diplomacy plays a personal respect. It is in very capable guy, very professional and tidy,” — said in an interview with online newspaper Vox American expert on Russia Rojansky Matthew (Matthew Rojansky), Director of the Kennan Institute in Washington.
There were rumors that Kislyak is working for Russian intelligence, the experts in Moscow, however, considered unlikely. According to Russian practice, is the normal position, when the spy services of cooperating diplomats of lower rank.
To trump Sergey Kislyak became the object of public attention only during a rare interview with the media when he defended Russia’s policy on Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, said about security at the winter Olympics in Sochi earlier in the same year, or explain why Americans are no longer allowed to adopt Russian children.
“We could end the cold war, but obviously will not be able to establish peace after the cold war”, — he said on one of the rare meetings with the press in the past year.
From Washington to new York?
The Russian media has published many sarcastic articles and TV news about the so-called “witch hunt” against trump and his staff. They joked about the fact that successive American ambassadors in Moscow often meet with Russian opposition, the Russian Ambassador in Washington, apparently, can only do secretly.
“Today, overseas media is one question: what is more pointless “witch hunt” they want to make in relation to the mythical agents of the Kremlin?” — wrote the newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda”.
At the same time, the Russian media clearly liked the attention to Kislyak. Last but not least, when it’s 10 may, foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had the opportunity to visit the Trump in the oval office, and the Russian news Agency TASS was able to publish a stream of photos of this meeting, to attend which the American media was forbidden. According to the American press, trump at the meeting, joked that he “apparently was the only one who met with Kislyak”.
A few months is the deadline the work of Sergei Kislyak as Ambassador in Washington. Apparently, it is not because Moscow is dissatisfied with his work, but because he worked more than normal. He’s already crossed the Russian retirement age, but not necessarily ready to retire. According to the Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, Kislyak appointed to the post of head of the new mission of Russia to the UN to fight terrorism.