Ex-US Ambassador to Russia Banned From Country

Michael McFaul believes his connection to Obama played a part
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2016 9:48 AM CST

(Newser) – Michael McFaul, US ambassador to Moscow from 2012 to 2014, recently applied for a Russian visa in hopes of aiding President-elect Hillary Clinton in her transition. This clearly didn't work out so well. But beyond the obvious reason, Reuters reports McFaul discovered he had been banned by Russia from entering the country. It could be the first instance of Russia banning a US ambassador in more than 60 years. The ban against McFaul is likely part of Russia's retaliation for 2014 sanctions leveled against it after it annexed the Crimea peninsula, according to the BBC. But McFaul believes his support for President Obama played a part, and he "will take that as a compliment." McFaul says he is sorry to find himself banned from Russia, a country where he's lived or traveled for more than three decades and where he has "hundreds of friends." (Read more Russia stories.)

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