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In debate, Romney reiterates Russia is 'geopolitical foe' of US

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"Regarding ideological clichés, every time this or that side uses phrases like 'enemy No. 1,' this always alarms me, this smells of Hollywood and certain times [of the past]," Medvedev said. "I would recommend all US presidential candidates ... do two things. First, when phrasing their position, one needs to use one's head, one's good reason, which would not do harm to a presidential candidate."

When Romney repeated his criticism of Russia during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August – he said that "Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and [Vladimir Putin, who was sworn in as Russia's president in May,] will see a little less flexibility and more backbone" – it again spurred a negative response from Moscow, Weir reported.

"Once again Russia's on America's list of adversaries," shouted Thursday's headline in the independent Moscow daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta. The online newspaper, which also publishes in English, warned that "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promise Russia Republican hell...  the official Republican candidates for president and vice-president support the radicalization of the country's foreign policies, particularly about the relations with Russia."

But again, experts told Weir they found it unlikely that Romney would follow through with his tougher talk.

"Romney may be talking a cold war line, as if he pines for the clarity of those days, but there's little substance in it. In fact, the main thing about Romney is that he seems to lack any vision at all," says [Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a leading Moscow foreign policy journal]. "He never dealt much with foreign policy, never had anything to do with Russia. If he wins, the biggest problem will probably be a long period of confusion while he tries to figure out what he actually wants to do." ...

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