Russia will be Obama’s or McCain’s problem, analysts say

The war between Russia and Georgia — and more importantly, the effect on the relations between Russia and the United States — didn’t provide any more comforting moments today .

Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that relations between the U.S. and Russia could be strained for years. But he did say there’s no chance the U.S. is going to get involved militarily.

Still, it appears to be a situation that will be one of the first to end up in the lap of a new president.

John McCain, speaking in Michigan, called for a complete review of U.S. relations with its Cold War enemy, the International Herald Tribune reported.

McCain said there should be heightened security arrangements for Ukraine, the Baltic states and Poland. But he offered no specifics, and ruled out military action against Russia or a return to the cold war.

Barack Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, condemned the Russia invasion and called for a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Here are the statements of both candidates:

As for Minnesota politicians, I asked an official in Rep. Michele Bachman’s office for an interview today. I got a statement from the congresswoman instead:

“Obviously, the Russia-Georgia conflict is very disturbing and I am monitoring it very closely. In fact, this afternoon, I expect to participate in a conference call with Republican leadership on this matter.

“I was pleased to see that the President is taking a firm stand with Moscow and that he’s dispatched Condoleezza Rice to Tbilisi. This is a volatile region and I am hopeful that tough diplomacy and humanitarian aid are all that will be needed to keep the conflict from spreading.”

So far, only Sen. Norm Coleman, Bachmann, and Rep. Jim Oberstar have provided reaction to the ongoing events.

Update 6:03 p.m. Rep. Betty McCollum has issued a statement:

“I strongly condemn Russia’s coordinated assault and invasion of the sovereign, democratic Republic of Georgia. In an attempt to re-establish control over its neighbors through military force, Russia is sending a worrisome signal to the international community that its vision of the future looks like the troubled Soviet past.

“As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department and Foreign Operations, I support the Bush Administration’s commitment to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to relieve the Georgian peoples’ suffering. The United States and our European allies should now initiate high-level, persistent diplomatic talks with Georgia and Russia, focused on restoring and sustaining a cease-fire.”

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