John McCain might get to write an op-ed for the Russian-owned Pravda after both McCain and the paper's editors agreed that there's really no reason the senator couldn't write and submit his critical thoughts on Russian President Vladimir Putin to the state-owned publication. Foreign Policy's John Hudson (who happens to be an Atlantic Wire alum) played matchmaker here, it looks like, contacting both parties after the senator joked on CNN that he'd "love to have a commentary in Pravda" in response to Putin's op-ed in the New York Times.
Here's what Pravda's English editor, Dimitry Sudakov, told Hudson about the idea:
If John McCain wants to write something for us, he is welcome...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 as John McCain.
He continued, indicating that the paper sees the situation as something of a dare, a metaphorical arm-wrestling match, if you will:
I am convinced that we would not agree on many things that he would have to say in his column, but an article like that would obviously be published in English and then translated into Russian so that all our Russian readers could read what Mr. McCain has to say... I believe that Mr. McCain is not aware of the real state of affairs in my country when he expresses his judgements of freedom of speech.
McCain's camp, through spokesperson Brian Rogers, said, "Senator McCain would be glad to write something for Pravda," adding that he'd be contacting Sudakov with a submission. As for the topic, Rogers added, possible subject include "democracy and human rights in Russia and certainly the Putin regime's aiding and abetting of the Syrian regime, which has killed 100,000 of its own people."
Meanwhile, John McCain casually mentioned to the Wrap on Thursday that he's considering retirement in 2016. "The president and I, he's in his last term, I'm probably in mine," he said. When pressed for a follow-up, McCain said, "I don’t know. I was trying to make a point. I have to decide in about two years so I don’t have to make a decision. I don’t want to be one of these old guys that should’ve shoved off."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.