A Meeting with the Ambassador of the USA to the Russian Federation Michael A. McFaul
Ambassador Michael McFaul told students about the inauguration of the President of the United States
U.S. Ambassador to Russia delivered a speech at the American Center on the President’s inauguration
Today at the American Center in Moscow, US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul delivered a speech to Russian and American students on the inauguration of US President Barack Obama. The meeting was also attended by a correspondent for the Russian service of the Voice of America. The meeting was relaxed, but the ambassador soon left – he was in a hurry to watch the live broadcast of the inauguration at his residence at Spaso House.
A small hall of the American Center at the Library of Foreign Literature. M.I. Rudomino was filled with students. While waiting for the ambassador, everyone read small booklets about the transfer of presidential power in America, as well as the biography of the 44th President of the United States “Barack Obama – the Life of an American”.
This year, the president’s inauguration coincided with another American national holiday – the birthday of Martin Luther King. This day is a federal holiday in the United States and is celebrated annually on the third Monday in January. Martin Luther King would have turned 84 this year.
That is why Michael McFaul linked the activist for the rights of African Americans and the first African American as president of the United States in his speech: “It’s hard to believe,” McFaul said, that only one generation passed between the era of Martin Luther King and the inauguration of Barack Obama as president, only one human life. … I’ll be frank. I myself was very surprised at how quickly my nation accepted President Obama. This is a great lesson for me: you should never underestimate your people and their ability to change. “.
It was obvious that the Ambassador had a genuine pleasure in communicating with the students. He laughed and joked, reminding them, “Barack Obama’s father was an exchange student from Kenya. Exchange student! Just like you! ” However, the issues at the meeting were quite serious. The students were interested in the future foreign policy of the United States, and especially in American-Russian relations. “Now many people say that what is happening between our countries can be called, if not a cold war, then a cold peace. Is there any hope that the situation will change? ”Asked Evgeny, a student at the University of Economics. G.V. Plekhanov.
McFaul answered briefly about the future: “Be sure to watch the broadcast of Barack Obama’s inauguration. In particular, he will outline the main priorities of his policy. I just don’t want to take this prerogative from my boss. “.
There were also more global issues. Russian exchange student Alex asked if there was any hope that democracy and justice would withstand the ongoing global crisis. “The possibility of a financial cliff in the United States just recently unwittingly makes one think about it. Does democracy have a future? “.
The ambassador answered this question with a confident “yes”, although he made a reservation that as a professor of political science, he, like his colleagues, prefer to refrain from predictions. “Democracy has always struggled to cope with major crises. And often she would fold. This must be admitted. But remember that the 1940s were a very dark time for democracy. There were no more than 10 democratic countries in the world. And now there are 120-130 “.
“Your questions require lengthy answers,” the ambassador was forced to admit at the end, and suggested moving the discussion to the Internet space: “Find me on Facebook! Or even better on Twitter. It’s very simple. McFaul the Dog. It seems that the students appreciated the ambassador’s humor and his command of the Russian language, this phrase was then often repeated in the corridors of the library.
The ambassador said that on the day of the previous inauguration four years ago, he and his family were in Washington. “At that time, I had been working in the Obama team for two years. Nobody heard anything about him at all. I didn’t know much about him myself when I joined his campaign team, ”McFaul recalled. “I’m sorry that I’m not in Washington right now. This is a special day for me. On this day, I am proud to be an American. And I believe that this inauguration will give a new start to our work ”- concluded his short speech at the American Center, Ambassador Michael McFaul.