On Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defended his plan to kick Russia out of the G8, a policy that Fareed Zakaria called “the most radical idea put forward by a major candidate for the presidency in 25 years.” Today, a top Russian diplomat dismissed McCain’s threat, claiming McCain was trying to turn Russia into a “scapegoat”:
“We can afford to cut off relations with any of our partners if that’s what they want … We’re not interested in what McCain has to say. Let him become president first, then we’ll listen to him,” the diplomat told reporters.
“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. The United States “is on the verge of an existential crisis,” he added.
Even John Bolton dismissed McCain’s idea as impractical. “I don’t think you can boot Russia out of the G-8,” Bolton said in a small breakfast with reporters at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank. “You have to ask: How did they get there in the first place?”