Washington's new envoy to Russia has dismissed as "nonsense" suggestions made on state-owned television and by members of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party that he was sent to Moscow to promote a revolution.
In an interview published in the January 25 edition of the "Kommersant" newspaper, Michael McFaul also called state TV's suggestion that the United States funds opposition blogger Aleksei Navalny "an insult to Russia."
Instead, he said he intends to continue the Obama administration's "reset" policy of more cooperation with Moscow, which he is largely credited with devising.
McFaul also said Washington would continue to pursue its approach to relations if Putin returns to the presidency this year, as is expected.
Official criticism of McFaul came after he met with civil society and opposition leaders on January 17, his second day on the job. He had met with Kremlin officials on his first day as ambassador.
with agency reports