MOSCOW, January 25 (Itar-Tass) — The US new Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul gave an interview with the Kommersant newspaper, where he spoke, whether the US is seeking a “colored revolution” in Russia, whether Alexei Navalny is the Department of State’s project, and whether the reloading will be over after electing Vladimir Putin president.
The US new Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, having just arrived in Moscow, was attacked by the state television channels and Nashi movement for having met with the organizers of the rallies in Bolotnaya Square and Sakharov Avenue. The Kommersant asked the ambassador to comment on that “warm” reception. McFaul said that the reception by official authorities was very good. “I started working on Monday, January 16. On that day I accompanied the US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. We had meetings with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, his deputies Sergei Ryabkov and Mikhail Bogdanov, with Yuri Ushakov, the prime minister’s advisor on foreign policy, with deputy prime ministers Sergei Ivanov and Igor Shuvalov, with whom we had been cooperating most closely for the past year”, he said. “I had several more official meetings”, he added, “and they all were held in a warm and welcoming atmosphere”.
Michael McFaul continued saying, it was not for the first time that he was meeting those personalities. For the past three years they had been cooperating actively and productively in the framework of the policy of reloading. We have managed a lot together, and, I believe, to a big extent due to a hearty welcome I received here, he said.
As for Nashi, the ambassador said, he had not had an opportunity as yet to speak to them. Possibly, next time, he said adding that he would try viewing broadcasts of the state television channels, where presenters had been commenting on the beginning of his work.
The Kommersant claimed that McFaul had a reputation of an expert in “orange revolutions.” “Some people are sure that you have been sent over to Russia to implement your scientific background in practice,” reporters asked. McFaul disagreed, saying that first of all President Obama sent him over to Russia in order to continue and improve the reloading. He said he had not aspired becoming an ambassador as he preferred to return home, to California. But, having learned that, the president said it was not possible that McFaul gave up everything at the point they were facing a challenge of expanding and improving the reloading. The essence of ‘reloading’ is not to draft a revolution, we are not doing it, the ambassador said.
Besides, the ambassador said, one can be a specialist in cancer, but that would not mean that one is for cancer spreading. I am a scientist, a scientist in politics and sociology, but not a professional revolutionary.
It is a popular point of view in Russia that the reloading has reached a dead end. We have managed to agree on Afghanistan, the WTO, START, but got stuck with the missile defense, reporters said. The ambassador replied saying that it is awkward to claim that reloading is over. Nothing is so far from the truth as that, he said. He remembered having said while taking the oath we are on the way to the settlement of most complicated tasks. The missile defense is a dramatic example of that, he added. He claimed that the US was organizing the missile defense not against Russia. Neither is the US going to start an arms race with Russia, as it is a vestige of the ‘cold war’.
The reporters asked the ambassador whether the reloading policy would continue after electing Vladimir Putin president, and McFaul replied that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as Vice President Joe Biden had had meetings with Vladimir Putin. Thus, the United States had started establishing relations and did not see reasons to terminate those, the ambassador added.