McFaul: U.S. working with Russia on gay rights and Ukraine

Feb. 9, 2014 at 1:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The outgoing U.S. envoy to Russia said Sunday the United States is working with Moscow on a range of issues, including gay rights and a nuclear arms treaty.

The two countries are also discussing Ukraine's future, the war in Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear ambitions, Michael McFaul, who appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press," said Sunday.

"When we can -- the president has said it many times -- we want to seek win-win outcomes with the Russians. When we can't, we're going to pursue our own national interests without them," he said.

The most recent point of contention between the two countries came after the Russian government leaked a phone call in which Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland made a crude comment while discussing Ukraine.

McFaul said he has also been the target of such leaks.

" The Russian government has tremendous capabilities -- and legal by their law -- of intercepting phone calls, emails, etc.," he said. "There's no doubt that I am a primary subject of interest for them, and from time to time, they have also leaked conversations I have that I thought were private. That's just the state of working in Russia."

Despite the differences between the two countries, McFaul stressed they are working together to share information and prevent a terror attack during the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer also appeared on the show Sunday, suggesting Congress pass immigration reform this year but delay its implementation until President Barack Obama leaves office.

His proposal is an attempt to appease Republicans worried about Obama not enforcing the law.

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