Tennessee's Corker says former Soviet bloc excited about Obama

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said during a visit to Russia and other former Soviet bloc countries he saw great excitement about President-elect Barack Obama.

Corker talked to reporters Friday after returning Thursday from a week in the area, which included visits to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

The Republican from Chattanooga said the issue of having an African-American president was "impactful to many of the people" that he came across.

Corker also said there is noticeable tension in Russia about plans for a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe. The Bush administration says the sites in Poland and the Czech Republic are aimed at protecting Europe from Iran.

Corker also said there are tensions over Russia occupying Georgia and in Ukraine and Azerbaijan has "raised their antennas" as to what would happen if it happened to them.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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