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22 Feb, 2012 03:43

‘We are not funding Putin’s presidential campaign’ – McFaul to RT

The recent appointment of Michael McFaul as US ambassador to Russia was seen by many as Washington showing favor toward the opposition. In a frank conversation with RT McFaul asserted that the US does not finance either the opposition or Putin.

“What we do is we fund non-governmental organizations, non-partisan organizations that are advancing what we call universal values: democracy, human rights, rule of law. We do it around the world and we do it here,” the ambassador said.Commenting on his meeting with members of the Russian opposition on his second day in office, the ambassador said it is the US’s regular policy of “dual track engagement” and referred to President Obama’s visit to Moscow.“When President Obama was here he spent his first day meeting with President Medvedev and government officials. He spent the next morning in a very interesting and engaging breakfast with Prime Minister Putin and the rest of the day he spent meeting with societal leaders Gennady Zyuganov, Boris Nemtsov and others.”Speaking about US anti-missile bases in Europe – a major stumbling block in Russia-US relations – McFaul explained that Russia’s “obsession” with a legally binding guarantee is not “rational,” but stressed that he sees a way forward through negotiations.