11 November 2013, 14:36

US ambassador to Russia rumored to resign after Kremlin reception

US ambassador to Russia rumored to resign after Kremlin reception

The US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is apparently losing a fight against mounting rumors predicting his untimely resignation before the year’s turn.

The diplomatic community expects the chief of US diplomacy in Russia to announce his resignation on November 16, which will mark the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

McFaul has recently refuted this claim, but the rumor still persists.

An influential Russian newspaper Izvestia has cited its sources in Putin’s administration as saying the announcement will be made during some formal reception in the Kremlin, although there have been no suggestions as to its nature. The paper said however the Kremlin meeting may ultimately focus on McFaul’s future in Russia.

Maxim Minayev, of the Moscow-based Foundation for Civil Society, told the Voice of Russia that only President Obama was in the position to nominate ambassador candidates.

“Career diplomats usually head diplomatic missions for three to four years. None of US ambassadors in modern American history has stepped down of their own accord. Obama has the exclusive right to revoke ambassadors, something he has never done before.”

“Even if it was his [McFaul’s] initiative to quit, it will be Obama who will in the end announce the decision to replace him. He will also have to find a solid ground to do that, because the discharge of an ambassador who was appointed in 2011 is a heavy blow to the President and his choice of candidates,” Mr. Minayev said.

The ambassador appointment process in the US is quite a complicated one. A candidate for the position of an ambassador must first be endorsed by several committees with the US Department of State before he or she is voted on by the Senate.

If the Senate doesn’t confirm the appointment within three months, the President’s nominee is removed from the waiting list.

Michael McFaul was appointed as the US ambassador to Russia only after the second try, following his defeat by Republicans who accused him of sharing too much of European defense shield details with Moscow.

The US media have not commented on the resignation rumor.

US ambassador not quitting his post

US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has refuted Interfax reports that he is going to resign soon.

According to earlier media reports, McFaul may leave Russia before the year's end.

Michael McFaul may resign before New Year

US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is going to leave his post in Russia, Gazeta.ru reports referring to sources close to the Russian power structures. Perhaps McFaul will leave around Christmas. However it is not clear yet which post he will receive in the United States.

US officials do not confirm the reports about McFaul completing his diplomatic mission in Russia in December, but Russian sources report that the Stanford scientist appointed Ambassador to Moscow by Barack Obama is returning to the US.

According to some data, McFaul is tired of fighting with situations out of his control. For example, he has difficulties with stating his position on Russian television. On the other hand, outside of television, the Ambassador has recently shown no activity, too, and, as they say, it is connected with the fact that Washington overshadows the activities of its diplomats in Russia. They say it is better to be silent in order not to anger Russia. Last year's ban on the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans, which turned into a nightmare for both Americans and many Russians, despite all efforts of diplomats from both sides, has brought no loosening up.

There is also another version: McFaul's old friend Susan Rice has invited McFaul to return to a decent position in Washington.

Finally, one more version is that McFaul just wants to go home, to his family, to calm scientific work. Before joining the diplomatic service, the 50-year-old McFaul was a Professor at Stanford University specializing in Russian politics.

If McFaul leaves the post of the Ambassador, this will be the shortest term of tenure in recent years.

Voice of Russia, Gazeta.ru, Interfax, RBK Daily, Izvestia.ru 

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