U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul does not consider Russia a “wild country” and respects it, he wrote on Friday on his Twitter page.
The U.S. ambassador met with an opposition figure Lev Ponomaryov from the For Human Rights group on Thursday. Russian journalists from the NTV channel seemed to know McFaul’s private schedule and were waiting as he arrived to meet Ponomaryov. When reporters tried to ask him some questions, the ambassador suggested that they had accessed his schedule by hacking his e-mail or his telephone and said “This is a wild country, it turns out. This is not normal. It does not happen in our country.”
“I misspoke in bad Russian. Did not mean to say ‘wild country.’ Meant to say NTV’s actions were ‘wild.’ I greatly respect Russia,” McFaul wrote via his Twitter.
Later, the ambassador complained that Russian journalists seem to know in advance about his plans even if they are not publicly reported by the Press Service of the Embassy.
He noted that he respects the freedom of the press but “it is against the Geneva Convention to take private information from my telephone or from my Blackberry.”
Michael McFaul, who is considered one of the architects of the "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations, has been under tight scrutiny by the Russian media since he assumed his post in January. He has been criticized by Russian officials and media for allegedly supporting the Russian opposition. McFaul consistently denies supporting the opposition.