June 26, 2013
US lawmaker and former presidential candidate John McCain on Tuesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a KGB “apparatchik” and suggested Moscow is deliberately impeding the United States’ attempts to detain fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
“We’ve got to start dealing with Vladimir Putin in a realistic fashion for what he is,” McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, said in an interview with CNN. “He’s an old KGB Colonel apparatchik that dreams of the days of the Russian Empire, and he continues to stick his thumb in our eye in a broad variety of ways.”
McCain dismissed an assertion by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday that Snowden, who leaked details of a US surveillance program to newspapers in the US and UK earlier this month, was not in Russia following his reported flight to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport from Hong Kong on Sunday.
A consistently vocal Putin critic, McCain said Russia’s handling of the Snowden affair would negatively impact bilateral relations between the two countries.
This article was posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 5:03 am