Most of the foreign policy intrigue in the US presidential race so far has focused on Israel, but Russian President Vladimir Putin took an opportunity to insinuate himself unusually directly in the race, praising President Obama while lashing his opponent, former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney.
While cheering a “sincere” Obama, Putin told interviewers that he believes a missile defense deal could be reached with the United States “if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term.”
This of course harkens back to early Spring, when Obama was caught with a live microphone at a closed-door meeting pleading with then-President Dmitry Medvedev to wait on the missile defense system until “after my election.”
Putin seemed considerably less favorable toward Romney, saying that he was “obviously wrong” is saying that Russia was America’s primary enemy abroad, and saying that he hoped Romney was only saying that to try to get votes.
Putin went on to criticize the US for backing Syrian rebel blocks, including some that have ties to al-Qaeda, calling it a short-sighted policy and suggesting that if the US is short on militants for the Syrian Civil War they could always empty out Guantanamo Bay.