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5 Sep, 2008 12:50

White House hopeful blames U.S. for Caucasus war

In the United States, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader says last month’s armed conflict over South Ossetia was provoked by Republican John McCain and his colleagues in Washington.

The green candidate also said both McCain and Democrat Barack Obama would continue to militarise U.S. foreign policy, which he says will lead to more global friction.
 “We've been sending arms and other support to Georgia and we've been getting them ready for NATO membership,” Nader said.

“The Russians see that as a hostile act on their underbelly,” he added.

Ralph Nader was speaking close to the site of the Republican National Convention in the city of St Paul,  in a scaled down venue across the river in Minnesota.

The 74-year-old won't be allowed to explain his position in the upcoming Presidential debates. Officials say Nader doesn't meet the 15 percent popular vote requirement needed to participate.

Meanwhile, John McCain has accepted the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. presidency. In his speech at the party convention, he lashed out at Russia, criticising the country's actions in the Caucasus.

“They invaded a small, democratic neighbour to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate others and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire,” McCain said.

McCain continued his aggressive rhetoric when discussing Iran.

“Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons,” he said.

His adversary Ralph Nader disagreed.

“Iran is surrounded west, south and east by US. It’s military hasn't invaded anybody in 250-years,” Nader said.

Outside the conference centre, dozens of protestors against the Iraq war have been arrested.  Some have marched from the U.S. capital, Washington DC, to the location of the Republican National convention.