The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks," Axios reported on April 20

The statement from a State Department spokesperson reportedly comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Russia's Foreign Ministry announced on April 16 it would expel 10 American diplomats and bar current officials, such as Attorney General Merrick Garland, from visiting Russia.

But the Russians did not forcibly expel Sullivan as they did with 10 other U.S. diplomats in retaliation for President Biden's sanctions last week.  Instead, the Kremlin summoned him to meet with a top foreign policy official, Yuri Ushakov, who recommended he go back to Washington for consultations with Biden officials, according to Axios.

"Ambassador Sullivan will be returning to the U.S. this week to visit his family and meet with members of the new administration with whom he has not had a chance to consult since he agreed to continue serving in his post indefinitely," a State Department spokesperson told Axios Monday night.  "He will return to Moscow in the coming weeks."