RUSSIA, May 30, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / RIA NOVOSTI) —– An appointment of U.S. President Barack Obama’s top adviser, Michael McFaul a new U.S. ambassador to Russia may help to get rid of mistrust between the United States and Russia, the head of the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis, Alexander Konovalov told RIA Novosti.
Earlier on Sunday New York Times reported, citing an anonymous White House official that Obama had decided to appoint McFaul, a current senior director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, the next U.S. ambassador to Russia.
“McFaul is a young man, very close to Obama and a devoted supporter of his policy. Moreover, he is specializing on Russian issues. Since McFaul is a person from presidential staff, his appointment would show that Washington pays serious attention to the Russian politics,” Konovalov said.
The expert said that McFaul seems to be the best candidate to develop Russian-U.S. relations since “he knows Russia well, he is familiar with the problems of national security.”
McFaul was born in 1963 in the U.S. city of Glasgow, Montana. In mid-80s he obtained master’s degree in Slavic and East European Studies from Stanford University. In 1991, being a Rhodes Scholar, McFaul earned a Ph.D. in International Relations from Oxford University.
He is the author or several books on Russia, including Between Dictatorship and Democracy: Russian Post-Communist Political Reform and U.S. Policy Toward Russia After the Cold War.
Commenting on the possibility of McFaul’s appointment, Konovalov said that he had previously heard about it. “As far I understand, this rumor is being spread in Washington’s top circles. As a rule, such things are confirmed. I think we can take it seriously.”
White House and U.S. Department of State however refused to comment on McFaul’s candidacy.
McFaul may replace John Beyrle, a current U.S. ambassador to Moscow, appointed by Bush’s administration in 2008. (*)