Michael McFaul has been sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the United States’ new ambassador to Russia.
At the oath ceremony on January 10 in Washington, Clinton praised McFaul, who has served as the chief Russia and Eurasia adviser on President Barack Obama's National Security Council, as a leading American expert on Russia and democracy.
Clinton described Russia as “one of the most complex and consequential relationships” that America has. She said the two countries work closely together on issues ranging from “nuclear nonproliferation to combating terrorism and drug trafficking to addressing the effects of climate change.”
Clinton also addressed the mass demonstrations that have occurred in Russia in protest of the December State Duma parliament elections, which were marred by allegations of fraud."
“The coming months and years will be crucial for Russian democracy,” Clinton said. “Russians from all walks of life and every corner of this great country are making their voices heard, both face to face and in cyberspace, expressing their hopes for the future."
She added of McFaul: “Few Americans know Russia or know democracy better than Mike McFaul. And I can think of no better representative of our values and our interest in a strong, politically vibrant, open, democratic Russia, as well as a deepening U.S.-Russian partnership."
McFaul’s nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 17. He is replacing John Beyrle as Washington’s envoy in Moscow.