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McFaul's appointment as U.S. ambassador in Moscow won't change Russian-U.S. relations - analyst
Interfax - 1.16.12 - JRL 2012-9

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) - Michael McFaul's appointment as the new U.S. ambassador to Russia will not affect the development of Russian-U.S. relations, and he will be interested in continuing the reset policy, says Sergei Karaganov, the chairman of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council think-tank.

"Nothing will change significantly in the Russian-U.S. relationship," Karaganov told Interfax.

"Perhaps some Russian experts and politicians will now have a friend at Spaso House (the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Moscow), because he has been dealing with Russian affairs for 25 years, and his network of personal connections is extraordinary broad for an ambassador," he said.

In describing McFaul on the whole, Karaganov called him "one of the most deserving candidates for this office."

The expert, however, suggested that some in Russia are portraying McFaul as "some mythical figure."

"McFaul is a very experienced and a very educated man, but he will be nothing more than an ambassador knowing Russia well and having a personal stake in continuing the reset, because he is its author," Karaganov said.

"Russians should understand that Russia is far from being a top priority for America and is less important than we might think," he said.

On the other hand, the U.S. is not of much importance to most Russians, either, he said.

Asked why President Barack Obama parted with such an expert on Russian affairs, who served as senior director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council until lately, Karaganov said McFaul planned to leave that office anyway.

"As far as I know, McFaul was going to leave that office, having finished some phase in his career, and Obama offered him to be ambassador," he said.

Talking about former U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle, Karaganov said, while Beyrle was "an excellent ambassador, he had to be replaced just because he got into the WikiLeaks files."

It was reported earlier that McFaul had arrived in Moscow on Saturday.

Keywords: Russia, U.S.-Russian Relations - Russia News - Russia

 

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) - Michael McFaul's appointment as the new U.S. ambassador to Russia will not affect the development of Russian-U.S. relations, and he will be interested in continuing the reset policy, says Sergei Karaganov, the chairman of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council

"Nothing will change significantly in the Russian-U.S. relationship," Karaganov told Interfax.

"Perhaps some Russian experts and politicians will now have a friend at Spaso House (the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Moscow), because he has been dealing with Russian affairs for 25 years, and his network of personal connections is extraordinary broad for an ambassador," he said.

In describing McFaul on the whole, Karaganov called him "one of the most deserving candidates for this office."

The expert, however, suggested that some in Russia are portraying McFaul as "some mythical figure."

"McFaul is a very experienced and a very educated man, but he will be nothing more than an ambassador knowing Russia well and having a personal stake in continuing the reset, because he is its author," Karaganov said.

"Russians should understand that Russia is far from being a top priority for America and is less important than we might think," he said.

On the other hand, the U.S. is not of much importance to most Russians, either, he said.

Asked why President Barack Obama parted with such an expert on Russian affairs, who served as senior director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council until lately, Karaganov said McFaul planned to leave that office anyway.

"As far as I know, McFaul was going to leave that office, having finished some phase in his career, and Obama offered him to be ambassador," he said.

Talking about former U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle, Karaganov said, while Beyrle was "an excellent ambassador, he had to be replaced just because he got into the WikiLeaks files."

It was reported earlier that McFaul had arrived in Moscow on Saturday.