Russian politicians reacted with anger on Tuesday after U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Russia is the United States' “number one geopolitical foe.”
Romney's statement reflects the position of those who want to impose U.S. hegemony, said the head of the Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov.
“These same charges and these same characterizations, we have heard from them or from those around them," Pushkov said. "This is not surprising. Among Romney's top foreign policy advisers we can see the same neo-conservatives who directly influenced the development of U.S. foreign policy under Bush,” he said.
Romney's statements are similar to those of Republican Senator John McCain, who was defeated in U.S. presidential elections four years ago, Pushkov said.
“It is as if we are hearing Senator McCain again: Romney makes a statement and one gets the feeling it is McCain speaking," Pushkov said, adding American voters had rejected McCain in favor of Barack Obama.
Neo-conservative figures are angry that the U.S. is taking into account the positions of Russia, China and other leading countries, he said.
“It seems that despite the political losses in Iraq and the upcoming defeat in Afghanistan, despite the defeat in the last presidential election, the Republicans have learned nothing. They do not want to understand that America is not omnipotent,” Pushkov said. “They do not want to understand that using force is not the way to solve problems in the Middle East. They do not want to understand that the U.S. can no longer pursue a unilateral foreign policy.”
In an interview with CNN, Romney said Russia “lines up with the world's worst actors” including Syria and Iran.
“Russia continues to support Syria. It supports Iran, has - has fought us with the crippling sanctions we wanted to have the world put in place against Iran. Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage,” Romney was quoted as saying.
He also slated talks between U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at the nuclear security summit in Seoul on Monday.
“The actions he's taken so far, which he says are to reset relations with Russia have not worked out at all,” Romney said, adding Obama’s words to Medvedev about flexibility are “alarming and troubling.”
CNN reported that President Obama was caught on an open mike saying to Medevedev “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”
“Russia is the geopolitical foe… and the idea that our president… is planning on doing something with them that he's not willing to tell the American people before the election is something I find very, very alarming,” Romney said.