Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hit out on Tuesday at Republican presidential candidate race frontrunner Mitt Romney, who said in an interview that Russia was the United State’s “number one geopolitical foe.”
“This ‘number one foe’ type of phrase smacks of Hollywood,” Medvedev said at a nuclear summit in Seoul. “I would advise all pretenders to the U.S. presidency…to use their heads. This is not a bad thing for a presidential candidate.”
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 said.
His comments came after U.S. President Barack Obama was caught telling Medvedev on an open microphone that he woud have "more flexibility" after his "last election" on the issue of a planned U.S-led missile shield in Europe.
"The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed," Romney said.
But Medvedev, who steps down after four years in the Kremlin in early May, told Romney to “check his watch.”
“It’s 2012, not the middle of the 1970s,” he said. “Pay attention to political realities.”
Romney’s comments also triggered reactions from other Russian officials, with Public Chamber Foreign Affairs working group head Alexander Sokolov comparing him to one of the “Marlboro men, those so-called cool guys, for whom only America’s interests exist and all other countries are potential enemies – or at best, rivals.”
Romney is favorite to win the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. President Barack Obama at the 2012 presidential elections.