(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Wednesday blasted the Obama administration's policies toward Russia, as tensions rise between the country and the United States over the unrest in Syria.
"Russia has openly armed and protected a murderous regime in Syria, frustrated international sanctions on Iran, and opposed American efforts on a range of issues," Romney said in a statement. "This is an unfortunate failure of President Obama's foreign policy."
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This week, top officials from Russia and the U.S. launched scathing attacks, accusing each other of arming sides in the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday charged Russia with sending attack helicopters to Syria, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed those claims, alleging instead that the United States was escalating the conflict by arming the Syrian opposition.
The war on words raised questions about the future of U.S.-Russia relations, especially given the recent re-installation of Vladimir Putin as the country's president and his snub at the G-8 meeting last month.
"The relationship is not headed in the right direction, but I don't think there's much the United States can do about that," Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," said Tuesday in an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
He added: "There's not much the Obama administration has done that frankly is objectionable with regard to the Russians."
Romney himself made headlines in March when he argued Russia was the country's "number one geopolitical foe." While he has refrained from using the term again, his campaign did not back down from arguing that the country posed a serious threat to the global balance of power.
Obama's team has since used the line to slam Romney as outdated and stuck in a Soviet-era mindset on foreign policy issues.
Zakaria, however, said Russia would first have to overcome its own internal struggles before taking up the mantle of a "great power."
"Russia is now a second-rate power, more a great power vacuum than a great power. So to build them up as a great geopolitical adversary of ours, the economy is in shambles, Russian military is in shambles. They wouldn't be on my top five as a geopolitical adversary," he said.