The person who is supposed to be Russia's key facilitator in the process — Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak — has been in that position since 2008. During that time, Kislyak took the heat for Russia's most bitter foreign policy crises — the war in Georgia in 2008, the war in eastern Ukraine, Russia's takeover of the Crimean Pensinsula and the gay rights protests, which were largely reported in the Russian media as an anti-Russian campaign in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Recently, Kislyak has come under fire over the nature of his contacts with members of US President Donald Trump's election campaign and allegations of spy activity in Washington. It's rumored that Kislyak is likely to become an adviser to President Vladimir Putin as part of a wider reshuffle of Russia's foreign policy structure. His replacement as ambassador to the United States has already been chosen.