McCain Defends Call To Exclude Russia From G-8

By Lindsey Ellerson

Jul 27, 2008 1:58pm

ABC News’ Ben Newman reports: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., defended his call to exclude Russia from the Group of Eight despite opposition from members, in an exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week." 

"You have to take positions whether other nations agree or not, because you have to do what’s best for America," McCain explained. “I will do what I can to see that they reverse many of the behavior patterns, which have really been very unhelpful to peace in the world.”

The presumptive Republican nominee openly criticized Russia for straying from the G-8′s founding principles. “We need to improve their behavior,” he said. “They’ve become an autocracy.” 

McCain also said he believes former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is still in charge and is responsible for Russia’s destabilizing role in the international community.

“In the last week or so, look at Russia’s actions. They cut back on their oil supplies to the Czechs, because the Czechs made an agreement with us.  They have now thrown out the — or forced out — BP out of Russia … They are blocking action in the United Nations Security Council on Iran.”

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