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McCain warns Russians of “severe, long-term negative consequences”

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Jonathan Martin
Monday, August 11, 2008

Hoping to further burnish his commander-in-chief credentials while his rival is on vacation and the president is abroad, John McCain appeared before cameras this morning to offer a lengthy primer on the crisis in the Caucasus, explain why it matters to America and outline steps that he thinks the U.S. and West should take to halt the violence.

McCain, speaking in Erie, Pennsylvania, before a bus trip of the state, also used the opportunity to send a warning shot to the Russians.

“Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin must understand the severe, long-term negative consequences that their government’s actions will have for Russia’s relationship with the U.S. and Europe,” McCain said.

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And, describing the Russian assaults that have gone beyond the disputed territory and into sovereign Georgia as “Moscow’s path of violent aggression,” the GOP nominee suggested that Putin’s aim may be to overthrow the pro-U.S. government in Georgia.

“This should be unacceptable to all the democratic countries of the world, and should draw us together in universal condemnation of Russian aggression,” McCain said.

The harder line toward the Kremlin comes as President Bush and, even more, Vice-President Cheney similarly ratchet up their criticism and as key neoconservative thinkers and McCain allies Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol take to the op-ed pages to urge action.

This article was posted: Monday, August 11, 2008 at 9:01 am

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