Russian Diplomat: GOP Senators Are “Cold War Monsters”

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From Foreign Policy via Ink Spots, here’s a full-tilt tizzy between a high-ranking Russian official and two Republican senators:

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, met with [Sens. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) yesterday in Washington—but they probably won’t be meeting again anytime soon…

“Today in the Senate, I met with Senators Jon Kyl and Mark Kirk. The meeting is very useful because it shows that the alternative to Barack Obama is a collapse of all the programs of cooperation with Russia,” he said. “Today, I had the impression that I was transported in a time machine back several decades, and in front of me sat two monsters of the Cold War, who looked at me not through pupils, but targeting sights.”

Rogozin was sauced because of the GOP’s longstanding opposition to US-Russia cooperation on nuclear weapons and missile defense, as evidenced by the party’s initial attacks on the new START treaty late last year. (As FP‘s Josh Rogin points out, it could also be because Russia doesn’t appreciate the US insistence on human rights reforms or its support for neighboring Georgia.) For his part, Kirk didn’t take the criticism so well:

“You could say that we’re just not that into him,” Kirk said. “In a potential missile combat scenario between NATO and Iran, Russia is thoroughly irrelevant. So Russian concerns about what we do and not do about the Iranian threat are interesting but largely irrelevant.”

Regarding Rogozin’s comment that Kirk and Kyl were “radicals” and “monsters of the Cold War,” Kirk said, “He should probably moderate his caffeine intake.”

As Ink Spots blogger Gulliver argues, calling one of the most-heavily armed nuclear powers in human history irrelevant to a missile war is pretty nutters. But then, Mark Kirk never was one for getting military matters right.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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