U.S. ambassador to Russia stepping down

The U.S. ambassador to Russia announced in a blog posting Tuesday he’s stepping down from his diplomatic role.

Michael McFaul was considered the man who could reset relations for President Obama in Russia, and particularly with President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reported.

But his two-year tenure has been marked by turbulence and a regression of relations between the two leaders. Mr. Putin has largely risen in prestige on the international scale — especially regarding Syria, when he calmed civil unrest enough to convince President Bashar Assad to cede control of chemical weapons.

Mr. Obama’s presidency has been marked by diplomatic dings, including a failure to prevent North Korea’s missile tests, a waffling on Egyptian policy and the definition of a coup during President Mohammed Morsi’s ouster from office.

Mr. McFaul said he’s had some success with U.S.-Russia relations, too. One example: The forging of a new strategic arms treaty, according to AP.

Mr. McFaul, a longtime professor at Stanford University, said his plans for the future include returning to California.

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