NEWSWATCH: “The big chill: the alarming decline in U.S.-Russian relations; A candid expert account suggests little will change under the current leadership” – Financial Times/Mary Sarotte

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Soviet-era jokes are fashionable once again in Russia. … a man walks into the headquarters of … the FSB … and says, ‘My pet parrot is missing.’ An agent responds, ‘Why are you wasting my time? Complain to the police or animal control!’ Man adds hastily, ‘Sorry, I told them already. I’m informing you because, if they find my parrot, I want you to know that I do not agree with its view of President Vladimir Putin.’ * * * although … McFaul’s new memoir From Cold War to Hot Peace has a great deal to say about Moscow’s foreign policy, it is ultimately Russia’s domestic politics that the author blames for the decay in relations with the U.S. The central irony and tragedy of this book … is that McFaul, a senior policymaker both hugely knowledgeable about and admiring of Russia, found himself personally presiding over that decline as … U.S. ambassador to Moscow between 2012 and 2014. …”

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