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Senator: 'Time to Fundamentally Rethink Our Relationship with Putin’s Russia'

11:39 AM, Aug 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Senator John McCain released this statement after learning the news that Russia had granted asylum to Edward Snowden:

“Russia’s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States. It is a slap in the face of all Americans. Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia. We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for. We cannot allow today’s action by Putin to stand without serious repercussions.

,p>“The first thing we should do is significantly expand the Magnitsky Act list to hold accountable the many human violators who are still enjoying a culture of impunity in Russia. We should push for the completion of all phases of our missile defense programs in Europe, and move expeditiously on another round of NATO expansion, including the Republic of Georgia. We should challenge the political convictions and detentions of Russian dissidents such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Alexei Navalny. And perhaps most importantly, we should speak out on behalf of the many people in Russia who increasingly are finding the courage to peacefully demand greater freedom, accountability, and rule of law in Russia.

“Today’s action by Putin’s Russia should finally strip away the illusions that many Americans have had about Russia the past few years. We have long needed to take a more realistic approach to our relations with Russia, and I hope today we finally start.”

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