Romney 'tough' on Russia

2012-10-20 20:05

Washington - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney calls Russia the number one foe of the United States and promises to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But if he is elected president, he might find that he will need Moscow's help.

Russia plays a critical role in facilitating the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The United States also needs its co-operation on keeping nuclear materials away from terrorists and American adversaries, and preventing gridlock at the UN Security Council, where both countries have vetoes.

While Romney has criticised President Barack Obama's "reset" — its policy for improving relations with Russia — he has not said what exactly he would do differently beyond taking a tougher approach. Given US interests in a co-operative relationship with Russia, some analysts think Romney may have to tone down his rhetoric if wins the White House.

"He may discover the value of Russia as a partner on some issues," says Andrew Kuchins, the head of the Russia program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

US-Russian relations, like international affairs in general, have not been major issues in a presidential campaign dominated by the economy. But they are an area of sharp disagreement between the candidates and could be an issue in Monday's presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy.

Obama administration officials see improved relations with Russia as a foreign policy success after years of tension during George W Bush's presidency. They cite the opening of a supply corridor to Afghanistan, the signing of a major arms control treaty, known as New Start, and progress on trade issues, including Russia's entry into the World Trade Organisation.

While Russia has often blocked Western initiatives in the UN Security Council, it has gone along in key instances. Last year, Moscow abstained in a vote allowing military intervention in Syria, though Russian officials later accused the US and allies of abusing the council's mandate. In 2010, Russia also backed new sanctions against Iran after a compromise. However, it has opposed further sanctions aimed at curbing Iranian nuclear ambitions.

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-20 20:36

    Apparently the Mayans decided that the world would end the 31 December 12. Maybe some truth about it if the rabid Romney wins. A few nuclear bombs to teach the Russians a few lessons shouldn't have much of an effect on his conscience. See the strange beliefs of the Mormons, of which he is part.

      deon.jansevanrensburg.58 - 2012-10-20 21:15

      So he will be different to a toady that increased unmanned drone attacks on civilians in countries he is not at war with? Politicians are idiots - finish en klaar

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-10-20 23:01

      Romney's not going to make it. Mark my words. Help n bietjie help n bietjie help n bietjie daar oooo help n bietjie daar. Nee wat Romney is te agressief en dit gaan teen hom tel. Jy kan nie vyande maak nog voor jy in die withuis die presidensie oorneem nie. Dit smaak my die man sukkel om te praat, dit is net nie vlot genoeg nie.

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-10-21 08:11

      Quirky.... Romney has balls? What to speak nonsense and insult the Russians. If he has balls perhaps he could join the military

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-20 21:05

    Ah that ancient old ploy. Distract the citizens from the very real problems at home and create an external, even more terrifying foe. Politricksters the world over learned this trick long ago. Pity it still works

      grootrot.vanzyl - 2012-10-20 21:19

      I don't think Romney knows the Berlin wall has fallen.

      mikel.kiparski - 2012-10-20 21:33

      HOW IS HE GOING 2 FINANCE ALL THIS????print more money>>>>>

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-10-20 21:48

    This is george bush in disguise

  • nkululeko.j.duma - 2012-10-20 21:59

    Should Romney win these upcoming elections, US economy and social stability will tremble down.

      nkululeko.j.duma - 2012-10-21 07:49

      Please give me few thngs that u thnk he wil do to realy take america out the dark.

      nkululeko.j.duma - 2012-10-21 18:35

      I think you are one of those individuals who are still in denial that USA is not in the good state at the moment. Why are you living in the dark(Africa)then?

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-20 23:28

    This is a dangerous man who is making an open threat against Russia. How is he going to be "tough" on Russia, economic sanctions, embargo, preemptive strike?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-21 06:52

      The Russian people that elected Putin will disagree with you! America is in no position to tell Russia anything. Russia is not England or Israel, and Russians do not appreciate being dictated to by foreigners.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-22 06:09

      South Africans don't appreciate you telling them Nelson Mandela is a phony, a lackey of the West, a modern-day UncleTom.

  • jeremy.bard.31 - 2012-10-21 01:07

    The man has learnt about sabre rattling from his chief backer, Netanyahu, who wants to bomb Iran. So bring it on Rombo, draw a few "red lines" on Russia and start a new cold war. This is sure get you a few votes .... or vetoes.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-21 04:40

    Putin will eat yo for breakfast! Down boy. You are a shortpants politician. I loved it how you made a colossal fool of yourself with the debate the other night. You looked like the real doofus you are. Rich man's kid. DON'T CALL YOURSELF A MORMON, CAUSE YOU'RE MORE OF A MORON !

  • Rashida Patel - 2012-10-21 06:04

    Americans have to be really stupid to vote for twitt romney...but then americans voted warmonger, gw.bush,into 2nd term

      Adil Smit - 2012-10-21 08:19

      Maybe use a real name, then we can take your comments seriously.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-10-21 08:17

    Romney's running mate Paul Ryan has some very unusual ideas on rape and women's rights. And then Romney probably doesn't realise that China, Iran etc will support Russia. God help America.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-21 08:20

    Russia under Medvedev cannot hide its shame, but thank god for Putin!

  • pages:
  • 1