John McCain on Putin’s Russia

US presidential candidate Senator John McCain is one of the few top western politicians to realize that Russia’s decline into dictatorship is a topic of critical importance for the world. He has demanded that Russia be ejected from the G-8 for supporting Iran’s nuclear ambitions and failing to adhere to democratic standards. He called for a US boycott of the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg last year. The influential Maria Bartiromo of CNBC‘s “Closing Bell” and “The Wall Street Journal Report” and various publications is a business journalist who has often investigated what KBG Inc. has in store for its investors.

In the June 4, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek, Bartiromo asked McCain about Russia:

Bartiromo: What about Russia—friend or foe?

McCain: Russia is probably the greatest disappointment in recent years. It has turned into a KGB oligarchy. [President Vladimir] Putin wants to restore the days of the old Russian empire, and he continues to repress democracy, human rights, and freedom of the press. Mysterious assassinations are even taking place. If oil were still $10 a barrel, Mr. Putin would not pose any kind of a threat. I do not believe you will see a reigniting of the Cold War. But I do believe that Putin and his cadre of KGB friends are causing us great difficulties in a variety of ways, including a failure to assist us in trying to rein in Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Bravo! In stark contrast with President Bush and Condoleezza Rice, there are no softly whispered concerns or apologetic smiles about Putin’s Russia from Mr. McCain. We know McCain is also concerned about Russian missile tech sales to Syria and selling assault rifles and military helicopters to Venezuela.