WASHINGTON — John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona, responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s op-ed that made the New York Times as well as front-page news.
Reuters reported that Putin’s op-ed was seen as an affront by some politicians and pundits and McCain’s response was one of many by American leaders.
McCain’s response ran in the Russian news website Pravda.ru as an editorial and criticized Putin for allying himself with a tyrant in Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Putin has protected Assad from international actions (because Russia has an lucrative arms contract with Syria) and put into place a framework for Assad to give up his chemical weapons arsenal in order to remain in power.
One part of McCain’s op-ed read, regarding Putin:
“He is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world”
Russian-U.S. relations have been at its worst under the presidency of Barack Obama, as National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden fled to Russia for asylum and Putin thumbed his nose at Obama. Other issues, regarding arms proliferation and Syria, have muddied relations between the old Cold War foes.