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U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle Leaves Moscow With Optimism About Russia's Future

Ambassador John Beyrle
file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) - John Beyrle has officially completed his service in Russia as U.S. ambassador. His successor, Michael McFaul, is expected to arrive in Moscow soon, diplomatic sources told Interfax.

"I'm proud to say that since my arrival in 2008, thanks to the unceasing efforts of innumerable partners in both our countries, we have made the U.S.-Russian relationship more constructive and productive, in many ways," Beyrle wrote in his farewell letter. "Russia has been formally invited to join the WTO, we negotiated a new START treaty and the 123 agreement, and we will soon put into effect an agreement on visas that will make travel between our two countries easier than ever," the U.S. diplomat said.

"Turnover in bilateral trade moved towards $40 billion in 2011, and I hope to see that number grow in the near future," he said.

"In 2011, more U.S. visas were issued to Russians and there are now more direct flights between Russia and the U.S. than ever before," Beyrle writes.

"I will depart Russia with a great deal of optimism about your country's future and the future of U.S.-Russia relations," he said.

"A firm commitment will be needed to foster a constructive and dynamic political environment going forward. Russian citizens will choose for themselves the role they will play. For America's part, the equation is simple. We need to find in Russia a strong, reliable, and supportive partner on the urgent issues facing both our countries the world over," the U.S. diplomat said.

"You can be assured that we will certainly find ways in which we can continue to contribute to strengthening the unique ties that exist between these two great nations, these two great peoples," Beyrle writes.

Beyrle's successor, Michael McFaul, 48, has accomplished a truly breath-taking career from a researcher and political analyst, to President Barack Obama's chief advisor on Russian and post-Soviet affairs and U.S. ambassador to Russia.

McFaul will be the fourth American ambassador to Russia and the first non-career diplomat to take up this post in the 21st century.

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