The Los Angeles Times reports that Alexey Pushkov, chairman of the international affairs committee of Russia’s State Duma, said in a recent interview that Russian leaders are wondering whether Mitt Romney’s aggressive rhetoric toward Russia is previewing a “full-scale crisis” should he be elected president in November. Pushkov is referring to Romney’s comment during the campaign that Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”
“We don’t think that for us Romney will be an easy partner,” said Pushkov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin. “We think that Romney will be, on the rhetorical side, a replay of the Bush administration.” [...]
“If he is serious about this, I’m afraid he may choose the neocon-type people…In the first year of his presidency, we may have a full-scale crisis,” he said.
President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Gen. Colin Powell, also recently criticized Romney’s comments on Russia. “When governor Romney not to long ago said ‘the Russian federation is our number one geo-strategic threat.’ Well, come on, Mitt, think. That isn’t the case,” he said.
Even one of Romney’s own foreign policy advisers thinks the former Massachusetts governor went a bit too far on Russia. “I think Romney is right to make Russia an issue,” the adviser told the Daily Beast. “But when he said that, the campaign should have walked it back and moved on.”