Global Politics

Presidential candidates on Russia

None of the three candidates is showing much love for Moscow these days but McCain is taking the hardest line. He says Russia lacks the democratic and free market values required for membership in the G8 and therefore Russia should be kicked out of the G8. McCain's criticism of Russia will infuriate Moscow and this analyst says they'll regard it as confrontational and may retaliate in a concrete way. He says the Russians could drop out of the Quartet working on Middle East peace, or stop cooperating with efforts to denuclearize Iran but McCain's top foreign policy advisor says McCain is not seeking confrontation, just wants some straight talk. He says McCain has spoken out about democratic roll backs in Russia. On that point McCain gets no argument from Obama or Clinton. This analyst speaking on behalf of Clinton says the most effective way to deal with that is in multilateral talks, such as in the G8. Obama has taken a similar position. It's clear that Moscow just wants continuity to come out of the US presidential elections.

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