McCain Accuses Russia of Blackmail

ReutersMcCain adjusting his tie before a speech in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Presidential candidate John McCain suggested revamping the Group of Eight, a trans-Atlantic group that deals with economic policy, to exclude Russia, which he accused of "nuclear blackmail."

McCain, almost certain to be the Republican candidate in November's election to replace President George W. Bush, gave a broad outline of his foreign policy views Wednesday in a speech in California.

"We should start by ensuring that the G-8 ... becomes again a club of leading market democracies: It should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia," McCain said.

McCain, a harsh critic of President Vladimir Putin, also said that "[Rather] than tolerate Russia's nuclear blackmail or cyber-attacks, Western nations should make clear that the solidarity of NATO, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is indivisible and that the organization's doors remain open to all democracies committed to the defense of freedom."

Addressing relations with Europe, McCain recommended changes from Bush policies.

"The United States did not single-handedly win the Cold War," McCain said.

"The trans-Atlantic alliance did, in concert with partners around the world. The bonds we share with Europe in terms of history, values and interests are unique. Americans should welcome the rise of a strong, confident European Union as we continue to support a strong NATO," he said.