Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has accused Mitt Romney of living in a 1970s Cold War movie after he described Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”
Such statements “smack of Hollywood,” Medvedev said today, on the sidelines of the global nuclear security summit in South Korea.
According to RIA Novosti, the Russian president advised all US presidential hopefuls to “use their heads” and “check their watches.”
“It’s 2012, not the middle of the 1970s,” Medvedev said. “Pay attention to political realities.”
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“Russia [is] without question our number one geopolitical foe,” Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors.”
“The idea that [Obama] has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed,” Romney said.
Medvedev wasn’t the only Russian politician to take offence at Romney’s comments. The head of the Public Chamber Foreign Affairs working group, Alexander Sokolov, compared the Republican presidential candidate to a “Marlboro man,” incapable of seeing foreign countries as anything other than enemies or rivals, RIA Novosti reported.
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Romney’s campaign team, meanwhile, issued a statement insisting the criticism from Russia was evidence that “the Kremlin would prefer to continue doing business with the current incumbent of the White House,” CNN reported.
Yet at home, the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, also distanced himself from Romney’s position. “While the president is overseas, I think it’s appropriate that we not be critical of him or of our country,” he told reporters this morning, which the Washington Post interpreted as a “subtle swipe” at his party’s most likely presidential candidate.
Romney’s foreign policy is characterised by a heightened sense of threat. In a campaign speech in October, he talked about Iran’s “suicidal fanatics” who could “blackmail the world,” the potential destruction of Israel, the Taliban reclaiming Afghanistan, a nuclear Pakistan run by jihadists, an economically empowered China building a “global alliance of authoritarian states,” and Russia on a quest to rebuild its Soviet empire.
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