Moscow Tells U.S. Envoy to Tone it Down

MOSCOW, May 29 (RIA Novosti) – The U.S. ambassador to Russia should remain diplomatic in his public comments and not jeopardize his country’s ties with Russia, a Russian presidential aide said on Tuesday.

“The leaders of both countries are set for constructive dialogue,” said Yury Ushakov. “Ambassadors should act in the same spirit and not be at odds with their leadership”.”

Ushakov’s comments refer to remarks made last Friday by U.S. envoy Michael McFaul at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, when he told students Russia had tried to bribe Kyrgyzstan to deny the U.S. use of an air base in the former Soviet republic. He also joked that the U.S. had offered a “smaller” bribe.

McFaul also attacked Russia Today, Russia’s state-run foreign-language television station, and suggested Moscow had offered its support for U.S. foreign policy in return for a letup on criticism of its human rights record.

The Russian Foreign Ministry later protested over his comments as “unprofessional” and going “far beyond the bounds of diplomatic etiquette.”

It expressed “utmost bewilderment ” at McFaul’s remarks, prompting him to write in his Twitter message: “Still learning the craft of speaking more diplomatically.”

“My HSE talk highlighted over 20 positive results of ‘reset,’ that our governments worked together to achieve,” he added later.


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