Tuesday, May 29, 2012 -
US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Monday appeared to recognize his diplomatic faux fas by claiming Moscow bribed Kyrgyzstan into forcing the US military out of the country.
McFaul wrote in his Twitter microblog Monday that he is “still learning the craft of speaking more diplomatically.”
The tweet followed withering criticism by Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
McFaul’s comments were made to a group of students in Moscow last Friday at which he said Russia had “bribed” Kyrgyzstan in 2008 to end the Pentagon’s use of Manas Air Transit Center located near Bishkek.
In his speech to students at the Higher School of Economics, McFaul also admitted that Washington too had offered a bribe, but that it was 10 times less.
Russia’s state-run television stations launched an attack on America’s top diplomat to the country, accusing him of supporting anti-government opposition leaders in an attempt to provoke a “revolution,” the Associated Press news agency reported.
At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, fired off nearly a dozen Tweets lambasting McFaul.
“Ambassadors’ job, as we understand it, is to improve bilateral ties, not to spread blatant falsehoods through the mediasphere,” read one posted on Monday evening.