Russian President Vladimir Putin has chosen a former deputy defense minister to replace Sergey Kislyak as the country’s ambassador to the U.S.

Anatoly Antonov will fill the role that was previously held by Kislyak, whose nearly 10-year stint in the position ended in July.

Antonov served as a deputy defense minister when Russian annexed Crimea from Ukraine, sparking tensions between Moscow and the West.

The European Union included Antonov on a list of Russian officials who were subject to sanctions after the crisis in Ukraine, according to Reuters.

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