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Russia Rejects McCain's New Call to Expel Moscow from G8

Russia is again rejecting calls from U.S. presidential hopeful John McCain, who says he wants Moscow expelled from the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

The likely Republican nominee has twice in recent weeks called for Russia's expulsion from the so-called G8 grouping. He told ABC television Sunday such a move would "improve their [Russia's] behavior" on a wide range of issues.

Tuesday, an unnamed Russian diplomat told Western reporters that McCain would have to be elected president before Moscow would listen. He also said Moscow is ready for "any development" in relations with Washington.

The United States and Russia, under the leadership of former President Vladimir Putin, have clashed over a number of foreign policy issues, including U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in eastern Europe. Sunday, McCain also accused Moscow of blocking action in the United Nations Security Council against Tehran's suspect nuclear program.

Earlier this month, new Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said any attempt to expel Russia from the G8 would damage the entire world order.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.