Medvedev tells Romney to "Use His Head"
Wednesday, 28 March 2012

"I recommend that all US presidential candidates, including the candidate you mention (Romney), do at least two things," Medvedev told Russian reporters on the sidelines of a nuclear security conference in Seoul.

"That they use their head and consult their reason when they formulate their positions, and that they check the time - it is now 2012, not the mid-1970s," said the outgoing Russian president in comments broadcast on state television.

Medvedev said Romney's quip "smelled of Hollywood" because it typecast Moscow as Washington's main enemy from the Cold War era just like in the popular spy movie thrillers of the time.

"As for ideological cliches, I always get nervous when one side or the other starts using phrases such as 'enemy number one' and so on," Medvedev said.

Romney had roundly criticised Obama on Monday for getting caught by an open mike making a controversial promise to Medvedev about missile defence.

Obama appeared to suggest at the Seoul meeting that he was ready to make a concession on the issue if he wins the November presidential election.

Romney told CNN in a transcript released by the station that Obama should understand that "Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage" because it has old ties to the governments of Syria and Iran.

Russia "is without question our number one geopolitical foe," Romney said.

It is unusual for world leaders to get involved in a foreign state's elections and the foreign ministry quickly moved to make light of Romney's "emotional statement."

Romney's biting quip was dictated "by the particular demands of political battle," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

But the comment quickly became the number one topic on Russian news sites and the subject of angry whispers in the Kremlin-controlled State Duma lower house of parliament.

The Republicans "simply do not want to understand that the United States is not the whole universe," the Duma's foreign affairs committee chief Alexei Pushkov wrote on the ruling United Russia party website.

"It seems that despite suffering political defeats in Iraq and about to suffer one in Afghanistan, and despite losing the last presidential elections, the Republicans have not learned a single thing," the close Kremlin ally said.


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