McCain: Obama Right to Cancel Russian Summit

Image: McCain: Obama Right to Cancel Russian Summit

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 05:12 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republican Sen. John McCain is fine with President Barack Obama canceling a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he says he'd like to see more.

Appearing on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper," McCain suggested expanding the Magnitsky Act to hold people accountable who abuse human rights. He also suggested letting Georgia into NATO and creating a free trade agreement with Europe so they won't be so dependent on Russian oil.

His plan is not confrontational, McCain said, but a realistic approach to a country not acting in the interest of world peace.

Putin, he said, "is an old line KGB apparatchik colonel that has dreams of reincarnating the old Russian empire." Referring to a "Reset Button" presented to the Russians by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009, McCain said, "The Russians – they've reset all right, back to about 1955."

McCain just returned from a trip to Egypt in which he bucked the administration by calling the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi a "coup." He defended that description, even though it angered some in the Egyptian government.

Morsi abused his power and the people rose up against him, McCain said, but added, "If you have a situation where a military takes over the government and puts in jail, incommunicado, the elected leadership of the country, then that can only be described as a coup."

A national dialogue and reconciliation are needed in Egypt, he told CNN. And he called for a condemnation of violence by Muslim Brotherhood, "or we're going to see blood in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria."

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