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U.S. ambassador to Russia stepping down

McFaul, architect of reset with Russia, leaving Moscow after 2 turbulent years

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U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is seen leaving the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Russia, in May, 2013.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

MOSCOW — The U.S. ambassador to Russia has announced that he is stepping down after two turbulent years in Moscow.

Michael McFaul is considered the architect of President Barack Obama’s effort to reset relations with Russia.

McFaul points to many successes in U.S.-Russian relations, including the negotiation of a new strategic arms treaty and cooperation on the NATO-led military campaign in Afghanistan. But his tenure also has brought disappointments in the face of the rising anti-Americanism in Russia that accompanied Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency.

The ambassador announced his departure in a blog post today, saying he would leave after the Sochi Winter Olympics.

A longtime Stanford University professor, McFaul said he would be returning to California. His wife and two sons had returned home last year.

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