Michael McFaul, the new U.S. ambassador to Russia, should understand that he is working in Russia, not in the United States, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.
Soon after his arrival in Moscow, McFaul met with a number of opposition figures at the U.S. Embassy last Tuesday, irking the Kremlin.
“In all likelihood, he [McFaul] will soon bring me his credentials,” Medvedev said, adding that “these credentials will naturally be accepted.”
U.S. President Barack Obama had informally agreed McFaul’s candidacy with him, Medvedev said.
“I hope that he [McFaul] will do a good job but of course he needs to realize that he is working in the Russian Federation, not in the United States of America, and that our country has its specifics, just as any ambassador has his mandate,” he said.
“I’ll leave everything else without comment,” Medvedev added.
Russia-U.S. relations, let alone Medvedev-Obama relations, have not been affected, the Russian president said.
“There’s not been a worsening in our interstate relations or in our personal relations [with President Barack Obama],” Medvedev said, admitting however that there were some significant disagreements, including on missile defense.
“Remember that Russia has been and will most likely remain a nuclear power, and so we’re not indifferent to how [other countries] react to our nuclear capability,” Medvedev said.
“It’s a problem of Medvedev-Obama or Putin-Obama relations,” he said. “It’s simply a problem that will remain in the long term and is likely to come to a head by 2018-2020.”