Moscow’s relentless criticism of U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul reached a new height this week when the foreign minister accused him of arrogance.
Sergey Lavrov said that Mr. McFaul was “very arrogant” in appearing to dismiss Russia’s concern about U.S. missile-defense plans for Europe in an interview the ambassador gave Tuesday with the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.
The foreign minister’s censure was the highest-ranking criticism of Mr. McFaul since he arrived in Moscow three months ago. Most of the previous complaints came from pro-Kremlin sources in the Russian media.
The onslaught of criticism started after Mr. McFaul met with Russian opposition leaders in January.
In his interview with RIA Novosti, Mr. McFaul was asked about Russia’s concern that the U.S. missile-defense shield for Europe would undermine Moscow’s own nuclear arsenal and disrupt the balance of power.
“We are going to accept no limitations on that whatsoever because the security of our people, of our allies, is the No. 1 priority,” the ambassador said.
The United States has “no interest in building a missile-defense system against Russia’s nuclear arsenal,” he added.
“Our colleague, the U.S. ambassador, made a very arrogant statement that there will be no changes on the missile-defense system, but as an ambassador he should understand that interests of the other state should also be taken into account,” he said.
The two men thought they were speaking privately, but their remarks were picked up on a microphone as they were talking in Seoul, where they attended an annual conference on nuclear security.
Mr. McFaul said the president’s comment “means were are going to build whatever missile-defense system we need.”
Mr. Obama’s critics have accused him of planning to make more concessions to the incoming Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
As prime minister, Mr. Putin objected strongly to the original plan promoted by President George W. Bush to put a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Mr. Obama canceled those plans in favor of a scaled-back missile-defense on Navy warships.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The young drop coverage to avoid higher premiums
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A mother of three and a passionate conservative, Shirley Husar changes the game.
Join the Communities and submit your column in response to one written, or on something totally new and unique. We want to hear from you
An advocate against sexual trafficking and for victims, Holly Smith speaks out.
Health care reform, organized medicine, physician practice management, and patient care--a real time look at the challenges facing doctors and patients in America today.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc