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An Early Warning to the Next U.S. President

There’s an interesting FT piece today about the European reactions to Super Tuesday. Apparently the Germans love Obama but are concerned about McCain, as they believe he would take a tougher line on Russia than Berlin is comfortable with. Tucked down deeper in the story was an early “warning” from a Russian official that the next president had better “tone down” the rhetoric:

Mikhail Margelov, the influential head of Russia’s senate foreign affairs committee, said the wins by Clinton and McCain were “an expected result” but he warned that any future US president would have to tone down the anti-Russian rhetoric once they took power. He said so far only Barack Obama had been neutral in speaking of Russia-US relations, while neither Clinton nor McCain had promised “any warming toward Russia.” “No matter who becomes US president, political necessity will force them to swap the pre-election rhetoric for a more business-like tone. Because if you measure the level of mutual responsibility and dependence of our countries then the path toward further confrontation is dangerous,” he was quoted as saying by Interfax. Both Clinton and McCain have made critical comments on relations with Russia under Putin. In a December interview with the Boston Herald, McCain said: “I looked into Putin’s eyes and I saw three letters — a K, a G and a B.” Clinton has said Putin “doesn’t have a soul” because he was a KGB agent.