Antonov's appointment comes during a time of continuing diplomatic tensions between Russian Federation and the United States, largely over the Kremlin's purported interference in the election.
The office of Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday the Kremlin leader has named a new ambassador to the United States - amid ongoing tensions between Moscow and Washington, D.C.
Antonov still technically is a general in the Russian Army, holding the equivalent of the US military's five-star rank, but has worked in Putin's government for the past six years.
Kislyak had met with senior campaign aides to Donald Trump during the 2016 United States presidential race. The outgoing ambassador played a prominent role in the controversy over Russia's possible involvement and interference in last year's USA presidential election.
That step could affect hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists. But he added that unlike the US government "Russia is not going to take it out on USA citizens".