Palin takes tough stand on Russia

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Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in her first interview since becoming John McCain’s running mate, says she is ready to be vice president, and sounded a warning on Russian aggressiveness, including saying the U.S. must be ready to go to war with Russia to defend allies.

Speaking to ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson, Mrs. Palin said she didn’t hesitate when Mr. McCain asked her to join him on the Republican presidential ticket.

“You can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink,” Mrs. Palin, the vice presidential nominee, said in an interview to be broadcast Thursday night.

Testing her on foreign affairs, Mr. Gibson asked her if former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia should be admitted to NATO, and how far the U.S. should go in defending them if they are admitted.

She said both should be admitted, based on their recent democratic progress, and said the U.S. would have to go to war with Russia if that nation attacked NATO allies.

“Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help,” she said, taking the same strong-line position Mr. McCain took in siding with Georgia in its recent brief war with Russia.

But she said that under current circumstances other types of pressure could be placed on Russia.

“We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to,” she said. “It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putiun and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller Democratic countries.”

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