Moscow has said that US presidential hopeful John McCain should first be elected then threatens to throw Russia out from the G8.
“We can afford to cut off relations with any of our partners if that’s what they want…. We’re not interested in what [John] McCain has to say. Let him become president first, then we’ll listen to him,” a senior Russian diplomat told reporters on Tuesday, according to AFP.
“We want the American electorate to answer for the choice it will make…. At the moment, they are turning Russia into a scapegoat for the mistakes of their foreign policy,” said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
McCain has said he would push for Russia’s removal from the G8 as punishment for what he called ‘rolling back political freedoms’ in the country.
Asked about his threat to exclude Russia from the Group of Eight industrialized nations, the Arizona senator told ABC television in an interview last week that “We need to improve their behavior.”
The call faced opposition from other members of the group.
McCain’s Rival Barack Obama has also opposed ousting Russia from the G8.
“It would be a mistake,” Obama told CNN in an interview when asked about McCain’s proposal.
Russia is a fairly recent entry into the group. The country joined the Group of Seven in 1997.