McCain to pen op-ed for Russia's Pravda

13th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

US Senator John McCain will pen a column for Moscow's Pravda newspaper, in which the outspoken lawmaker is likely to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, his office confirmed Friday.

The arrangement, first reported by Foreign Policy magazine's online blog The Cable, follows publication of a Putin op-ed published in Thursday's New York Times.

The Russian leader warned in that piece that an attack on Syria over its alleged chemical weapons use "would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism," and undermine efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem.

"If John McCain wants to write something for us, he is welcome," Dmitry Sudakov, the English editor of Pravda, told Foreign Policy.

"Mr. McCain has been an active anti-Russian politician for many years already. We have been critical of his stance on Russia and international politics in our materials, but we would be only pleased to publish a story penned by such a prominent politician."

McCain's spokesman Brian Rogers told AFP that the veteran senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee "is glad to take them up on the offer and will submit a piece."

Several US lawmakers expressed alarm at Putin's essay, including McCain who called it "an insult to the intelligence of every American."

In an interview with CNN, McCain noted Russia's poor press freedom record and quipped that "I would love to have a commentary in Pravda."

The Cable acknowledged it sent a transcript of the CNN interview to the newspaper.

Pravda ("Truth" in Russian) was founded in 1912 by Bolshevik revolutionaries and served as the mouthpiece for the Kremlin until the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union.

An organ of the Communist Party, it is no longer considered one of the country's main newspapers.

© 2013 AFP

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