McCain: Time to put gentle diplomacy aside with Putin

June 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- It's time to get tough with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who called the Russian leader an "old KGB colonel apparatchik."

"We've got to start dealing with Vladimir Putin in a realistic fashion," McCain said Tuesday on CNN's "New Day."

Calling Putin an "old KGB colonel apparatchik that dreams of the days of the Russian empire," McCain said the United States should take a harder line with Putin, who has also opposed western plans to arm rebels battling Syria's President Bashar Assad.

An apparatchik is professional functionary of the Communist Party or government.

The most recent kink in the U.S.-Russia relationship came Sunday, when it's believed National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow to avoid apprehension on U.S. espionage charges for leaking government secrets.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's claim Tuesday that his country has "nothing to do with Mr. Snowden, or his movements around the world," did little to sway McCain.

"It's reminiscent of the days of the Cold War when you hear a Russian spokesman saying that he's not in Russia when every shred of evidence indicates that he is," said the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, who faulted President Obama for not taking a harder line with Russia on Syria and Iran.

As for Putin, McCain said the Russian president has a "disdain for democracy and the things we stand for and believe in. ... If he sees a situation, he'll take advantage of it."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
New York Post defies #ISISMediablackout with graphic James Foley cover
Amanda Curtis launches Montana Senate campaign after Walsh bows out
Top Hamas commanders killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza
Oil spill reported in North Dakota
Chris Christie flips at town hall attendee over Bruce Springsteen
Trending News