FRIENDLY

Russian Ambassador to Attend Trump’s Inaugural

Russia’s top diplomat in the U.S. will be attending President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural on Jan. 20, even as his country’s alleged election-meddling has seen dozens of Russian envoys expelled. The Russian embassy stressed there’s nothing suspicious about Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s attendance. “In accordance with general practice and protocol for the inauguration of the U.S. president, foreign ambassadors are invited. An invitation was received from the American side for Ambassador Kislyak, and the ambassador will participate,” Russian Embassy spokesman Nikolai Lakhonin was cited as saying Monday by Russia’s Interfax news agency. While it’s not unusual for foreign diplomats to attend a presidential inauguration, Kislyak seemed to make his support for Trump known during the presidential campaign. He made waves last April by attending Trump’s foreign-policy speech and urging better ties between Russia and the U.S., a move that many saw as a clear indication of which candidate Russia was rooting for. In addition to breaking with diplomatic tradition by attending the speech, Kislyak later lamented souring ties between the two nations and placed the blame squarely on the U.S., saying “It’s not us who started it.”