U.S. ambassador asked to get Obama to raise Russian human rights issues with Putin

The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, has promised to do his best to satisfy a request from Russian human rights group Agora that the human rights situation in Russia be put on the agenda of the planned Russian-American summit this autumn, Agora's leader said.

The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, has promised to do his best to satisfy a request from Russian human rights group Agora that the human rights situation in Russia be put on the agenda of the planned Russian-American summit this autumn, Agora's leader said.

"The proposal was raised during our meeting with the ambassador, who came here with his family to see the events of Universiade 2013 [the 27th World Summer University Games]," Pavel Chikov told Interfax.

Agora is based in Kazan, the venue of the games.

McFaul asked questions during the meeting about the activities of local human rights groups, according to Chikov.

Among other things, he was interested in the trial of former police officers accused of violence - Agora represents four of the policemen's 14 alleged victims - and the problems caused by the law stating that Russian foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations engaged in politics must register as "foreign agents."

McFaul, one of foreign diplomats invited to the Student Games, first visited Kazan in 1993 and has been back to the city on three occasions since then, according to Chikov.

He credited the city with striking changes over the past 20 years.

"The ambassador said he liked the opening ceremony of Universiade 2013 very much. It was held yesterday at Kazan Arena, a stadium for 45,000," Chikov said.

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