(FILES) A file picture taken on May 4, 2010, shows US ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul , speaking at a press conference in in Bishkek. (AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO)
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Michael McFaul, the outspoken US ambassador to Russia who has frequently ruffled feathers in Moscow, announced Tuesday he would be leaving the country after just two years.An embassy spokeswoman confirmed that McFaul was leaving Russia "early" but declined to comment further.Before taking over as ambassador, McFaul helped reset Russia-US relations following Russian strongman Vladimir Putin's departure from the Kremlin in 2008 .An average US ambassador's tenure in Moscow usually lasts around three years.In Washington, the US National Security Council said President Barack Obama was "deeply grateful" to McFaul.
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