Russia's new ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, said Friday he met with President Trump in a "warm and constructive" environment, and said he hoped to help improve bilateral relations between the two countries.
"I told [Trump] that we count on relations between our two countries," Antonov told reporters Friday, according to Tass, Russia's state-owned news agency.
Antonov replaced Sergei Kislyak as Russia's ambassador to the U.S. Aug. 31. He has served as Russia's acting ambassador to the U.S. since Kislyak's return.
Kislyak was recalled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 25 and returned home in early July, after he became the center of attention in news stories about his meetings with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, and other Russian meetings with members of Trump's inner circle.
Members of President Trump's campaign — White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and former national security adviser Mike Flynn — all met with Kislyak during the campaign or transition period.
During Kislyak's meeting with Kushner and Flynn last December, the Trump officials reportedly asked for a secret channel of communication with Moscow. But Kushner later rejected those reports, and said he decided it was likely going to be difficult to stay in touch with Russia until Trump was sworn in.
Federal investigations, as well as House and Senate committees, are investigating the meetings as part of their probe into possible collusion between Trump and Russia in the 2016 presidential election.