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Russia

Ambassador McFaul: 'Real Politics In Russia Again'

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left), and U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul at the Kremlin in FebruaryRussian President Dmitry Medvedev (right), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left), and U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul at the Kremlin in February
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left), and U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul at the Kremlin in February
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (left), and U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul at the Kremlin in February
By Richard Solash
WASHINGTON -- Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, says there is "real politics in Russia again."

Speaking on March 12 at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, he said Russia is in a period of "civil society renewal" and that "society is taking their constitutional rights more seriously and the state is responding to that."

The U.S. envoy was referencing recent mass protests and the unusually energized public debate in Russia following December's parliamentary elections and March's presidential election, which saw Vladimir Putin, who has been prime minister since 2008, reelected president for a third term.

McFaul also said that urging U.S. lawmakers to repeal the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which prohibits permanent normal trade relations with Russia, is the Obama administration's "top trade issue for this year."

The ambassador, who took up his post in January, also said the recent wave of anti-American rhetoric in the country is "somewhat shocking" and likely attributable to the presidential campaign season.
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by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
March 13, 2012 05:49
I would advise to Mr. Ambassador is better to study Russian proverbs and sayings..
One of them translates approximately as-"be silent and people will think you're smart.."
Why write off the anti-American rhetoric in Russia on the election campaign, when everyone knows that anti-Americanism is part of the policy of Mr. Putin..
It is clear that the work of Ambassador involves political correctness but to talk nonsense like that, does not add to the reputation..
Тherefore, good advice to Mr.Mc.Faul-The less you open your mouth the better....
In Response

by: Mamuka
March 13, 2012 07:52
There may be renewal of civil society but there is a long way to go for this to be an important factor. Now that Vova is back in control there will soon be no more "real politics" in Moscow as the Civil Society will have to face siloviki society.

by: vytautasba from: vilnius
March 14, 2012 07:31
It never ceases to amaze how very intelligent people make such silly statements. Worse still when such people exert so much influence in making policy. Folly is on the march again to use a term from historian Barbara Tuchman.

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