Kick Russia out of G8 says McCain

U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain has again called for Russia to be booted out of the Group of Eight nations. The Republican candidate accused Russia of straying from the exclusive club’s founding principles. He added that in his opinion Russia was st

“We need to improve their behaviour,” McCain told ABC television when asked about his threat to exclude Russia from the G8 if he wins the White House in November.

McCain added India and Brazil should be invited to join the group of the world's richest nations instead.

Russia has become an autocracy under Vladimir Putin and the Russian president-turned-prime minister has taken the country down a “very harmful” path, McCain said.

McCain said he believes Vladimir Putin is responsible for Russia’s destabilising role on the international scene.

“In the last week or so, look at Russia's actions,” McCain added. “They cut back on their oil supplies to the Czechs, because the Czechs made an agreement with us. They have now thrown out – or forced out – BP out of Russia”, he said. 

“They continue to put enormous pressures on Georgia in many ways. They're putting pressure on Ukraine. They are blocking action in the United Nations Security Council on Iran,” McCain said.

“We want better Russian behaviour internationally, and we have every right to expect it,” he concluded. “And I will do what I can to see that they reverse many of the behaviour patterns which have really been very unhelpful to peace in the world.”

Throughout his presidential campaign, McCain has repeatedly used anti-Russian rhetoric to try and distance himself from the policies of President George W Bush.

Meanwhile, McCain’s main rival Barack Obama says in the new century the U.S. “must reject the Cold War mindset of the past, and resolve to work with Russia.”

Obama added that excluding Russia from the G8 would be a mistake as Moscow is a key player in the fight against nuclear proliferation.