Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has rebuked US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for saying Russia is the “number one geopolitical foe” of the US.
Mr Romney made the comments while criticizing President Barack Obama for appearing to suggest a future deal with Russia on the issue of missile defense.
Mr. Medvedev said Mr. Romney’s comments “smelled of Hollywood” and advised him to “use his head”.
Moscow has long opposed US plans for a missile defense system in Europe.
In remarks caught by TV cameras on Monday during a summit in Seoul, Mr. Obama had appeared to suggest to Mr. Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” on difficult issues such as missile defense after November’s US presidential election.
In an interview with CNN, Mr. Romney had called Mr Obama’s remarks “alarming” and “troubling”.
“If he’s planning on doing more and suggests to Russia that he has things he’s willing to do with them, he’s not willing to tell the American people – this is to Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe,” Mr Romney said.
In response, Mr Medvedev said: “I recommend that all US presidential candidates… do at least two things: that they use their head and consult their reason when they formulate their positions, and that they check the time – it is now 2012, not the mid-1970s.
“As for ideological clichés, I always get nervous when one side or the other starts using phrases such as ‘enemy number one’ and so on.”
Moscow is used to being singled out as “the wicked witch of the east” by American politicians, says the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.
US President Ronald Reagan once described the Soviet Union as “the evil empire”.