Russia has become an autocracy under Vladimir Putin and the Russian president-turned-prime minister has taken the country down a "very harmful" path, Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Sunday, AFP informs.

"We need to improve their behavior," McCain told ABC television when asked about his threat to exclude Russia from the Group of Eight if he wins the White House in November.

"His government -- former president Putin, and now Prime Minister Putin -- has taken his country down a path that I think is very harmful," McCain said. "They`ve become an autocracy."

"In the last week or so, look at Russia`s actions," he added. "They cut back on their oil supplies to the Czechs, because the Czechs made an agreement with us. They have now thrown out -- or forced out -- BP out of Russia.

"They continue to put enormous pressures on Georgia in many ways. They`re putting pressure on Ukraine. They are blocking action in the United Nations Security Council on Iran," McCain said.

"We want better Russian behavior internationally, and we have every right to expect it," he said. "And I will do what I can to see that they reverse many of the behavior patterns which have really been very unhelpful to peace in the world."