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US ambassador surprised by Russian criticism

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MOSCOW (AP) -

The U.S. ambassador to Russia says he has been surprised by the Russian Foreign Ministry's criticism of his remarks at a meeting with students.

Russia's Foreign Ministry castigated McFaul for saying Russia offered money to the leader of Kyrgyzstan for removing a U.S. base from its soil, saying his description of this and other issues was "deliberately distorted." It also accused McFaul of misrepresenting Russia's stance on issues such as the Iranian nuclear standoff and North Korea's nuclear program.

Michael McFaul said on his Livejournal blog Wednesday that his speech last week was intended to applaud U.S.-Russian cooperation.

McFaul said he probably "shouldn't have spoken so colorfully and bluntly" and promised to "work harder to speak more diplomatically."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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