Mitt Romney took a hard-line on missile defense systems in Eastern Europ and faulted President Obama, during his foreign policy speech today, for telling the Russian government that he would have “flexibility”on certain issues after the election.
“I will implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats,” Romney said today, per his prepared remarks. “And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin.” Romney was alluding to a private conversation between Obama and then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that was heard by a hot mic.
“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama told Medvedev in March. “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”
Romney knocked Putin again when he argued for the necessity of American leadership around the world, including “in Europe, where Putin’s Russia casts a long shadow over young democracies.”
Obama campaign aides have mocked Romney for describing Russia as the United States “number one geopolitical foe” during this election.
Last week, the Justice Department announced that a Russian agent operating in the United States had upgraded Putin’s military and intelligence agencies at American taxpayer expense by using a company to buy U.S. defense technology and illegally sell it to the Russian government.
“The microelectronics allegedly exported to Russia are subject to strict government controls due to their potential use in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers,” DOJ explained in a statement on the indictment of the eleven people who had comprised the conspiracy.