Medvedev says Romney's anti-Russia comment smacks of Hollywood

SEOUL Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:53pm EDT

1 of 2. Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev attends a news conference at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul March 27, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Ekaterina Shtukina/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Related Topics

SEOUL (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday a comment by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, branding Russia the "number one geopolitical foe", smacked of Hollywood.

Romney was speaking on CNN in response to a conversation in Seoul on missile defense between Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama.

"Regarding ideological clichés, every time this or that side uses phrases like 'enemy number one', this always alarms me, this smells of Hollywood and certain times (of the past)," Medvedev said at the end of a nuclear security summit in the South Korean capital.

"I would recommend all U.S. presidential candidates ... do two things. First, when phrasing their position one needs to use one's head, one's good reason, which would not do harm to a presidential candidate.

"Also, (one needs to) look at his watch: we are in 2012 and not the mid-1970s."

Obama made clear on Tuesday that it is highly unlikely the United States and Russia will bridge their differences over U.S. plans for a European missile shield before the U.S. presidential election, staunchly defending remarks caught on camera the day before with Medvedev.

Obama was overheard assuring Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to newly elected Vladimir Putin in May, that he would have "more flexibility" to deal with arms-control issues after the November 6 presidential ballot, drawing sharp criticism back home from his Republican foes.

Romney called Obama's comments "alarming and troubling".

"AMERICAN HEGEMONY"

Medvedev and Obama signed a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty in 2010, part of a "reset" in relations, but the former Cold War foes are at odds over the U.S. plans for a European anti-missile shield.

Russia says the United States is pushing ahead with its plans despite promises of cooperation. Moscow is pressing for a legally binding guarantee that the system would not be aimed to undermine Russia's offensive nuclear arsenal.

That demand is a non-starter because of opposition in the United States, particularly among Republicans in Congress, to any restrictions on U.S. missile defenses.

In Moscow, Russia's Foreign Ministry dismissed Romney's remark as campaign rhetoric.

"It's perfectly clear that these statements are dictated by ... the political struggle that is going on now in connection with the upcoming elections in the United States," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

A senior lawmaker from Putin's ruling party said Romney's remark went "far deeper" than political posturing, warning a Republican win would likely revive a "line of confrontation with Russia" rooted in the administration of George W. Bush.

"It's clear that this is a new edition of the old doctrine of American hegemony, and Romney is not alone in this approach," said Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the international affairs committee in the State Duma, the lower parliament house.

"There is a whole group of senators who specialize in promoting the idea of U.S. domination of world affairs and ... in anti-Russian themes," he told a news conference.

"The Republicans are going with the ideology of George Bush and John McCain, in essence, and on this basis they want to return to power. And that's the problem."

(Additional reporting by Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Ed Lane and Alessandra Rizzo)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (13)
crbob wrote:
Obama and his egotism thinking he is the only one in the world that understands foreign problems needs to be defeated handily in the November elections before he causes a major problem with foreign countries, he has already handed Libya and Egypt to the muslim brotherhood and is now intent on handing them Syria, who knows, after that he may hand them Israel as well, he is not to be trusted…….

Mar 27, 2012 8:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kuji wrote:
@crbob

The last republican president did such a great job of geopolitical stability right? GOP foreign policy of the early 2000 created a lot of the mess we are in today. George Bush was such a polarizing figure that it gave a path to the Putins and Ahmadinejads of the world to counter American unilateralism. These other polarizing figures did not exist until this point (and they rooted their power and have not gone away), where as, Bush went away constitutionally.

In comparison, it seems like the Obama state department does indeed know what its doing when comparing the GOP clowns scrambling to look as right wing-ish and as war hawkish as possible, for no other reason to out do each other in crazy stuff that comes out of their flip flopping mouths.

Mar 27, 2012 9:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This just in: Romney makes Medvedev seem like a reasonable world leader.

You’re doomed GOP. I wish it wasn’t this way. I wish you had real candidates left in the race who could have brought some sanity and balance back to our political process, but 2012 is not going to be your year.

Mar 27, 2012 9:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.