WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama plans to nominate Michael McFaul, his top adviser on Russian policy, to be the next U.S. ambassador to Moscow, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
McFaul, 47, senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council, would replace John Beyrle, who was appointed to the job in 2008 by George W. Bush.
McFaul, a former Stanford University professor and Rhodes scholar, has no diplomatic experience but is seen as the leading force behind Washington's "reset policy" that has led to a better relationship with Russia.
Obama advised Russian President Dmitri Medvedev of his choice last week at a G-8 meeting in France, the Times said, citing administration officials who did not want to be identified before the formal announcement of the appointment.
The United States and Russia have signed the New Start arms treaty and completed a civilian nuclear cooperation deal during Obama's presidency after years of tension. Russia also has allowed the United States to use its airspace to supply U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
McFaul was a critic of Vladimir Putin's crackdown on dissent in Russia during his presidency.
(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Christopher Wilson)