McCain responds to Putin's article
Updated: 2013-09-20 16:11
US Senator John McCain on Thursday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of allying himself with tyrants and ruling through violence and repression, in a scathing retort to a New York Times editorial by Putin earlier this month.
In an editorial published on news website Pravda.ru, McCain criticised the Russian leader's policies at home and in Syria, where Putin has repeatedly protected President Bashar al-Assad.
"(Putin) is not enhancing Russia's global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world," wrote the senior senator from Arizona, who is also a leading Republican voice on military affairs.
US-Russia ties are at one of their lowest points since the Cold War as friction over the fate of the fugitive former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, to whom Russia awarded asylum, have added to tensions over Syria.
Putin's op-ed article took issue with US President Barack Obama's claims of "American exceptionalism" and said a strike against Assad could escalate the conflict that has already killed more than 100,000 people.
After Russia gave asylum to Snowden, McCain said Washington should complete missile-defense programs in Europe and expand NATO to include Russian neighbor Georgia. Both endeavors are anathema to Moscow.
(China Daily USA 09/20/2013 page6)