* Medvedev says Romney's remark evokes Cold War
* Foreign Ministry dismisses it as campaign rhetoric
* Lawmaker: US Republicans reviving anti-Russian themes
(Adds remarks by Russian foreign ministry, lawmaker, context)
By Alexei Anishchuk
SEOUL, March 27 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 defence between Medvedev and U.S. President
"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
"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 Nov. 6 presidential ballot, drawing sharp criticism
back home from his Republican foes.
Romney called Obama's comments "alarming and troubling".
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
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 defences.
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 specialise 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)