WASHINGTON, November 2 (RIA Novosti) - His dad may think Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe,” but Matt Romney, son of the Republican presidential contender, wants to drum up some business opportunities there.
The second-oldest son of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Matt Romney traveled to Moscow with a colleague looking for real estate investors this week, according to the New York Times.
“It is a harmless trip,” said Greg Davis of Excel Trust, a real estate investment firm based in the state of California where Matt Romney works as a senior vice president.
“It was a trip that has been planned for some time,” Davis told the Times. “Any travel they’ve done on behalf of Excel is strictly on the private side. It would have nothing to do with anything governmental.”
But a week before the US presidential election, the trip is noteworthy, in part because the elder Romney has been openly critical of US-Russian relations under President Obama as well as Russia’s domestic policies, and has vowed to take a tougher stance on the Kremlin if he’s elected.
"Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone," Mitt Romney said at the Republican National Convention in August.
Romney has long been critical of Obama’s stance on Russia, telling CNN, “The actions he's taken so far, which he says are to reset relations with Russia have not worked out at all.”
“Russia continues to support Syria. It supports Iran, has… fought us with the crippling sanctions we wanted to have the world put in place against Iran,” he said in the interview. “Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage.”
And in last month’s final presidential debate Mitt Romney said, “I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin.”
The Times reports the younger Romney sought to deliver a message to Putin this week that if elected, his father wants a good relationship between the two countries.
Excel owns shopping centers across the US, but is open to global ventures, said Davis.
“There are a number of opportunities worldwide — people looking at where can we put our money,” he said to the Times. “Any trips right now are very exploratory to see is there a market, are they serious about investing in Excel.”
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.