Russia deliberately unhelpful on Iran nuclear issues - Senator McCain
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Russia deliberately unhelpful on Iran nuclear issues - Senator McCain

22 Mar, 02:06 PM

US Senator John McCain, blamed Russia on Saturday for not joining in the international efforts to restrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and also for failing to stabilize its relationship with Georgia. At a meeting in Brussels, the senator ruled out the possibility of admitting Russia to NATO.

“I think the Russians can help,” McCain was quoted by Bloomberg as telling reporters Saturday at the Brussels Forum meeting of leaders from North America and Europe in Belgium. “I have not seen any Russian actions to help” in Iran. “I have seen no sign” that Iran has backed off its nuclear ambitions, he said.

McCain spoke ahead of a scheduled meeting between Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and US President Barack Obama in London on April 1st. Obama is seeking Kremlin support for his policies, including ones on Afghanistan and Iran. US Vice President Joe Biden, said in February it was time to “reset” relations with Russia after they were frayed by the insistence of George W. Bush to deploy an eastern European missile defense system during his presidency.

McCain criticized other recent Russian foreign policy actions, saying he does “take exception” to a failure by leaders in Moscow to adhere to a November peace agreement with Georgia, brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“I still hope we can publicly commit to democracy in Georgia and Ukraine,” McCain said. “We want freedom and democracy for every nation of the world.”

McCain said he doesn’t think Russia meets the democracy requirements to qualify as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and that he would be “reluctant” to endorse its membership. He rejected Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s suggestion that NATO should be replaced by the 56-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Tags: John McCain, Iran, Georgia, US

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