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Medvedev Lectures Romney Over Russian Rant

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By Robert Bridge

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on the US presidential candidates to check their calendars following explosive comments by a top Republican contender Mitt Romney.

Saying that some of the statements coming out of the US elections debate “smell like Hollywood,” Medvedev wished “at least two things” from the field of Republicans battling to challenge the Democratic incumbent, Barack Obama.

“I would urge all who lay claim to the chair of US president, not excluding the candidate you have mentioned, to do at least two things: first, use reasonable arguments while formulating your positions. Doing so won’t hurt. And second, check your watches. It’s 2012 now, not the mid-1970s,” he said.

The Russian president’s blunt comments were in response to remarks by Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, who labeled Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”

The war of words began during the nuclear security summit in Seoul, Korea, where Obama was overheard on a ‘hot microphone’ asking Medvedev to be patient on missile defense until after US presidential elections.

“This is my last election,” Obama was heard telling the Russian leader on the sidelines of the summit. “After my election I have more flexibility.”

Romney pounced on the comment, playing up to perennial Republican fears of a militarily resurgent Russia obstructing US moves on the global chessboard.

“Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility where he doesn’t have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very, very troubling, very alarming,” the Republican told CNN in an interview. “(Russia) is without question our number one geopolitical foe.”

When pressed if he actually believed that Russia represented a bigger threat to the United States than either Iran or China, Romney backpedalled on his remarks, perhaps sensing that he had overreached himself, saying: “Of course the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran, and nuclear North Korea…”

He then criticized Russia for not siding with the United States in the UN Security Council, but rather with the “world’s worst actors.” The US recently expressed its displeasure over Russia’s decision to veto a UN Security Council resolution on Syria. Moscow held to the position that the resolution made tough demands on the Syrian government, while failing to do the same for the militant opposition.

Medvedev warned that politicians are attempting to manipulate the European missile shield debate to pursue their own personal agenda.

“Missile defense is a political issue that various political forces are manipulating in order to pursue their own political interests, including interests connected with elections – parliamentary and presidential,” the Russian president told reporters.

Medvedev said he supports Washington’s willingness to continue its dialogue with Moscow on plans to build a missile defense shield in and around Europe.

“The American side demonstrated its willingness to continue it [the dialogue]. We wholeheartedly support it,” he said.

The Russian leader added that there were no secrets regarding missile defense talks with the United States.

“As for our dialogue with President Barack Obama…we discussed various topics, including anti-missile defense,” Medvedev said. “There are no secrets here, like there is no surprise in the fact that a number of issues are very difficult to solve in the current political situation.”

There are better and worse times for political decisions, he added.

“It is evident that the best time (for political decisions) is when all political forces are stable, regardless of the issues with which this or that person deals, it is simply a clearer construction,” Medvedev stressed. “In fact, this is what we talked about. And there is no surprise in it, we have never concealed this. President Obama could say about it both in public and behind closed doors. But each time something is taken out of the context, it arouses a wave of conspiracy theories.”

Barack Obama stressed there was nothing secretive about his comments to Medvedev, and he could repeat them again “in public.”

­Will the reset survive US politics?

Romney’s comments, although possibly just a case of election-year hyperbole, nevertheless reveal a latent streak of hostility against Russia on behalf of certain members of the Republican Party.

Romney’s remarks also reveal the dilemma that Moscow faces in its efforts to maintain a relationship with Washington: although President Medvedev and President-elect Vladimir Putin seem prepared to continue developing the Russia-US reset, America’s devotion to the plan largely hinges on the direction that the political winds are blowing out of Washington.

Indeed, out of the remaining field of four Republican contenders – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul – only Ron Paul has refused to play the Russian card for political gain. Thus, in the event of a Republican victory, it would be safe to say that the Russia-US reset will suffer irreparable damage, if not outright devastation.

This quandary perfectly explains Russia’s apprehension over US plans for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe: although the Democrats today are devoted to the reset, there is no promising what the case will be come November.

Russia has warned the United States on many occasions that unless the two sides can come to an agreement on US missile defense – which Russia views as a potential threat to its national security – Moscow will have no choice but to respond in kind. That could very well mean another arms race at a time when the planet can least afford it.

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RT, previously known as Russia Today, is a global multilingual television news network based in Russia. RT was the first all-digital Russian TV network.

5 thoughts on “Medvedev Lectures Romney Over Russian Rant

  • March 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm
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    The simplicity, duplicity and mendacious nature of our presidential candidates is beyond embarrassing. Here we are a nation with the “Best” graduate level universities in the world running political candidates that appear to have dropped out of high school . Appalling, disgusting and sickening not only describes the candidates. It also describes us that allow them to even run let alone get elected.

    S+A = D … (Secrets + Avoidance = Deception)

    Reply
  • March 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm
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    When will the people of America learn that they are not respected? It is strange that Americans do not realise how much they are hated throughout the world. They want war and military conflict just as much as their leaders want war…they love it.

    The civilians in all nations are sick and tired of Americans invading other countries and destroying the infrastructure, the families, businesses and the lives in nations that are non-Western.

    The civilians, excluding the politicians and their academic advisors who crawl after the American creeps on their knees, do not want American drones on Australian land and we do not want any kind of American military hardware or people on Australian land.

    We do not want any part of any American or Israeli war, conflict or hegemony. And it is time Israel was pushed back into its place because it too, is showing signs that it is incapable of being a peaceful nation-state. It is time to leave the Palestinians and their children alone Israel!!

    The only thing the American people know is war, hatred, death and destruction.

    American policies are outdated and just goes to show that the American people and the politicians the American people vote in, are incapable of changing and are incapable of any kind of peaceful diplomacy. All Americans want to do is destroy anything that is different to them. The American people are the most backward and violent people on God’s planet.

    Americans are pushing for another war in the Middle East for the sake of Israel, and they will cause another war anywhere they please.

    Americans are backward, their university graduates are backward and have been brainwashed. The American people and the politicians they voted for, are simple, war mongering, swamp people.

    Reply
  • March 29, 2012 at 4:43 am
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    You are obviously ignorant and mis-informed. As I am an American people you speak of with such passion, many of us will disagree with you. Try watching the news sometime. All Americans do not agree with what our government does. We do have many dogooders who think people in other countries deserve to be treated like human beings, I agree to a point. But if people in other countries like being treated like animals, then I say let them, it’s not our job as Americans to be the police for the entire world, and frankly, we cannot afford it. But before you lump all Americans into one mold, you should first ask yourself, if all people in your country are the same.

    Reply
  • March 29, 2012 at 4:56 am
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    I just realized my post was without direction. It was in response to Sharron Pitcher. And I will ad that if people in other countries do not like us, STOP ASKING US FOR MONEY!!!

    Reply
  • March 29, 2012 at 7:16 am
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    At first I thought I would be more inclined to support Romney’s candidacy. Now his true color is coming out, so I’m changing my mind. I’ll vote democrat instead.

    Reply

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