Michael McFaul, senior director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council under the President of the United States, is seen as a very likely candidate to become the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. His interview with Radio Liberty has confirmed that human rights and civil liberties will remain a priority for the United States.
Last week in the bilateral US-Russian consultations McFaul held the chair of the United States Mission. Consultations were held in Washington, DC, raised issues of immigration issues to the protection of children's rights. The Russian side was headed by Vladislav Surkov, first deputy head of the presidential administration, Dmitry. Medvedev.
In an interview with Michael McFaul gave Radio Liberty, among the most important moments of consultation, he called the issue of reform in the Russian prison system. The discussion, in particular, the case raised the death in prison of a Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky was trying to draw attention to the practice of a conspiratorial "capture" of the police and tax authorities the most lucrative and exciting private companies. Lawyer died in prison because he had not timely health care. According to the Americans, the history of Magnitsky will test how well the Russian government to fulfill its zabavazanni abide by the rule of law.
McFaul: We had a very long discussion about the case of Magnitsky, with the participation of representatives of civil society. Together we questioned Mr. Surkov and other Russian officials.
According to McFaul, Russian officials called the case "a tragedy" and claimed that the new law is to warn against its recurrence. Says McFaul, for many participants in the discussion that was not enough:
McFaul: I think the other in response to react in such a way that it is one thing to have a law, and another thing, people, responsible for it, have not been punished.
McFaul's remarks coincided in time with the steps of the U.S. Congress, who introduced a bill on sanctions against 60 Russian officials related to the Magnitsky case.