Russia rebukes 'undiplomatic' US envoy

MOSCOW - Russia sharply criticized the US ambassador for the third time in his five-month tenure after he said that Moscow offered Kyrgyzstan a bribe in a bid to evict US forces from an air base and had sought backroom "quid pro quo" deals on key issues.
The Foreign Ministry expressed "extreme bewilderment" at remarks Michael McFaul made in a university lecture in Friday, which it said went "far beyond the boundaries of diplomatic etiquette and amounted to a deliberate distortion of several aspects of the Russian-American dialogue."
McFaul is the architect of President Barack Obama's "reset", which has improved ties that had become increasingly strained during the administrations of George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin and hit a low with Russia's war against Georgia in 2008.
But the plain-spoken envoy has been clouded by controversy since he arrived in January - shortly after Putin, employing anti-American rhetoric in his successful campaign to return to the presidency, accused the United States of stirring up protests against his rule.
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