US Ambassador to Russia Calls It Quits

World | February 4, 2014, Tuesday // 17:50|  views

US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, photo EPA/BGNES

The US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, announced Tuesday he would be leaving his post after the Sochi Winter Olympics.

McFaul said in a post on his bilingual blog that that he was leaving the Obama administration after five years (seven years if one counts his work as an unpaid advisor on Barack Obama's campaign) so he could spend more time with his wife and two sons in California.

"I will leave Russia reluctantly. I love this job. It is a tremendous honor to represent my country here. Soon after the Olympics, I plan to rejoin my family in California. After more than five years of working in President Obama's administration the time has come to return home," the diplomat wrote on his blog.

"Very sad to announce my departure later this month. I will miss Russia and its people," he also twitted.

McFaul was sworn in as ambassador in January 2012, replacing John Beyrle, who is also a former Ambassador to Bulgaria.

A longtime Stanford University professor, McFaul is considered the mastermind of President Barack Obama's effort to reset relations with Russia, but his term was marked by worsening bilateral relations and increased criticism on Moscow's part.

Despite the hardships, the Ambassador writes that he was leaving with a feeling of accomplishment.

His wife and two sons had returned home last year.

The entire "farewell letter" in English and Russian read in his blog HERE.

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Tags: US, ambassador, Russia, Michael McFaul, Sochi Winter Olympics, Obama, administration, Moscow, John Beyrle


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