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US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Resigns

FILE - Jon Huntsman, U.S. ambassador to Russia, arrives at the security check point entrance of the White House in Washington, May 30, 2018.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. has sent his resignation letter to President Donald Trump, signaling the end of his two-year stint.

In the letter, Huntsman thanked the president for "the trust you have placed in me as the United States ambassador to Russia during this historically difficult period in bilateral relations."

His resignation is effective Oct. 3.

Huntsman, a Republican, left the Utah governor's office in 2009, when former President Barack Obama named him as ambassador to China. He had been elected to his second term the year before.

Derek Miller, the president of the Salt Lake Chamber, a business association in Utah, said Huntsman plans to return to his home state and is reportedly weighing another gubernatorial run.

The Russian state news agency Tass quoted a foreign ministry spokesperson as saying Huntsman is a professional, but "the domestic political state of affairs in the U.S.'' made it impossible to fully develop bilateral ties.

Trump, Putin phone call

CNN had reported that Trump and Putin discussed the need for a new U.S. ambassador in Russia during a phone call last week. The two men did not mention any names of potential replacements for Huntsman, the network said.

Huntsman also served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s, as well as a deputy U.S. trade representative under former President George W. Bush.