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Arizona Sen. John McCain replied to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opinion piece in the New York Times, attacking Russia’s policies and position on the Syrian government.
Last week, Putin wrote an article in the New York Times warning Americans of the implications and consequences of an airstrike against Syria. He argued an American airstrike would show a direct disregard of international law and a lack of respect for state sovereignty.
McCain replied in an online Russian magazine with a blistering condemnation of Putin’s administration under the headline, “Russians deserve better than Putin,” says BBC News.
McCain wrote, “To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption.”
He accused the Russian government of “supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power [and impeding] the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities.”
According to The New York Times, Dmitri S. Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters that McCain’s opinions were irrelevant to Russian citizens and that Putin would not be responding.
Peskov said, “As far as the question of what Russians deserve is concerned, they are able to answer this question on their own, and they do so when elections are held. I do not think that the opinion of any person who lives overseas can play any role in swaying Russians’ preferences.”