Obama to name McFaul as ambassador to Russia
President Barack Obama plans to name Michael McFaul as his ambassador to Russia, a senior White House official said on Sunday.
The official, who had requested anonymity, was confirming a report that first appeared in the Sunday New York Times.
McFaul, who is currently Obama's chief Russia advisor on the National Security Council, is considered one of the architects of the so-called "reset" of Soviet-US relations that took place shortly after Obama took office in early 2009.
Among the key events in the warming of the two countries' relationship has been the signing and ratification of the NEW START treaty on nuclear disarmament, cooperation on sanctions against Iran and a strengthening of commercial relations.
On Thursday, McFaul, one of the most knowledgeable experts in the United States on relations between Washington and Moscow, spoke to reporters in Deauville, France after a meeting between Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, noting that the US wanted to develop a "multidimensional" relationship with Russia, "not simply one about arms control."
"The two presidents have pledged to do that, and particularly on economic relations, to try to expand the scope of what we do together," McFaul said.
McFaul's official nomination is expected to be announced shortly.
Following confirmation by the US Senate, McFaul would replace the current US Ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle.
© 2011 AFP