Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

Michael McFaul Declares “Reset” in US-Russia Human Rights Issues

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Kommersant reports (in Russian) on Michael McFaul’s (Obama’s chief advisor on Russia) talks with Vladislav Surkov (the architect of Russia’s “managed democracy”):

As Michael McFaul told Kommersant after the talks, he brought home to Vladislav Surkov Washington’s new approach to the issue of human rights in Russia: “We came to a conclusion that we need a reset in this respect too and we should give up the old approach that had been troubling Russian-American partnership.” Mr McFaul made it clear that the USA are not going to teach Russia democracy any more and cause irritation in Moscow; they are going to focus on practical work with NGOs instead.

Michael McFaul is known for his sober and clear understanding of the situation in Russia. He barely has any illusions on what the Russian political system is like. But he does really sound like many Realpolitik-infected diplomats, who call the West to turn a blind eye on Russia slipping down to dictatorship.

Is Obama’s administration really going to give the issue of human rights the last priority or how should we understand this “new approach”?

PS: Meanwhile, United Russia has faked about 1,000,000 votes (40% of official turnout) at Moscow municipal elections, according to statistical research (in Russia). Those who went to protest peacefully this fraud were arrested violently Monday night by riot police (including myself). Now we shouldn’t expect that this issue will be raised by US diplomats; otherwise it would definitely trouble the Washington-Moscow partnership.


Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

October 13, 2009 at 22:01

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

7 Responses

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  1. […] October 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm (Human Rights) (Anton Orekh, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, Michael McFaul, Oleg Kozlovsky, Paul Goble, Vladimir Bukovsky, Window On Eurasia) on Mike McFaul and Slava Surkov: […]

    Oleg Kozlovsky « Putinania

    October 16, 2009 at 02:44

  2. The State Duma under Putin’s regime has been a rubber stamp parliament totally submissive to the Kremlin. LDPR and SR are pro-Kremlin parties, but now they see that if the present massive rigging is repeated during the next national elections, they face political oblivion as the transformation into a one-party state is completed. In a strange coincidence this week the pro-Kremlin LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky defended democracy in Russia with more passion than Clinton.

    The present Obama policy towards Russia is more reminiscent of the cynical realpolitik of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger that eventually ended in failure –as did the Clinton visit (today Kissinger is a friend of Putin).


    October 18, 2009 at 02:07

  3. Just remember that not all Americans think the way Obama and his staff seem to, Oleg. Always remember that there are people who support you in the U.S.. I wish you luck and keep up the good fight.

    Friend from the U.S.

    October 18, 2009 at 23:46

  4. But thre are indicatations that Kommersant’s reporting was not accurate:



    October 22, 2009 at 01:27

  5. […] McFaul, Barack Obama’s advisor on Russia and Eurasia, has commented today on my post about a “reset” in US-Russia human rights issues. The note was based on Kommersant’s report that “the USA are not going to teach Russia […]

  6. Thank you so much for all the information. These will surely be a great help.


    March 18, 2010 at 21:46

  7. […] rights being led by the NSC’s Mike McFaul and the Kremlin’s Vladislav Surkov. McFaul explained the Obama administration’s approach to Russian human rights in October 2009, saying, “We […]

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