McFaul says his decision to leave Moscow unrelated to US-Russia relations

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says there is no political reason for his decision to leave Moscow.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says there is no political reason for his decision to leave Moscow.

"But it had nothing to do with US - Russia relations, and it had nothing to do with any decisions by the Russian government, it was all purely due the fact that I want and need to reunite with my family back in California. 7 months is a long time," he said in an interview with Interfax.

"Zero, not in the least," he answered the question whether some political things were involved in taking such a decision.

"The Obama administration was for me to stay as long as I could, and I tried to do that. I love this job, it's a fantastic job, and it's a great honor for me to represent my country in Russia," the ambassador continued.

"And also for me, this is an emotional time because this will mark the end of me working for Pres. Obama," McFaul said, adding that he had been working with the U.S. president for the past seven years. "And so it's an end of different layers for me, not just leaving Moscow," he said.

McFaul admitted that he had made some mistakes while he was the Ambassador. "Well, I just think there were a few times where I could have chosen my language more carefully, and you know we don't have to rehearse those, but I regret that and I said it at the time," he said.

"And the other thing is that I travelled a lot when I first got here, and have travelled less more recently because of summit planning and I wish I would have travelled to more Russian cities, because when I did that I enjoyed the private meetings with the private citizens, not diplomats not business elites," the ambassador added.

"I enjoy and have embraced the public diplomacy part of my job and I am unique and I'm proud of that, and I'm happy that I'm different. I've always been different in any job I've ever done," McFaul said.

"I'm glad that I've been able to bring some of my experiences from my previous work and my previous job and just life experience to be an innovative Ambassador whether it's dancing at Spaso House, or working on Twitter."

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