British Foreign Secretary Derides Russia Policy Backed by McCain
By Glenn Kessler
Sen. John McCain has repeatedly proclaimed that it is time to kick Russia out of the "Group of Eight" organization of industrial powers, even before Russia's recent conflict with Georgia. But the idea has not been embraced by many foreign policy experts, who tend to view it as needlessly provocative.
Today, the top diplomat of one of the U.S.'s closest allies, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, weighed in, calling the notion "knee-jerk," though he did not mention McCain's name.
In a tough speech delivered in Kiev, Ukraine, Miliband said Russia will face consequences for its actions in Georgia. But he added: "In all international institutions, we need to review our relations with Russia. I do not apologize for rejecting knee-jerk calls for Russia to be expelled from the G8, or for EU-Russia or NATO-Russia relations to be broken. But we do need to examine the nature, depth and breadth of relations with Russia."
The Bush administration has also been cool to the idea of kicking Russia out of the G8, which holds an annual summit of leaders. The foreign ministers other seven members -- the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan -- today did issue a statement condemning the actions of Russia, "a fellow G8 member," particularly its recognition this week of two separatist regions.
In any case, the United States can not kick Russia out of the G8 unilaterally.
Posted at 4:20 PM ET on Aug 27, 2008
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