Is John McCain asking Russian government for campaign contributions?
Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin claims to have received a letter asking for a monetary campaign contribution from John McCain’s team. Churkin replied saying Russian government does not finance foreign political activity but it could have been just an old grudge. John McCain is one of the most outspoken critics of the Russian government, especially over its conflict with Georgia. So, the request for money from the Republicans must have come a bit unexpected for the Russian side. John McCain’s spokesperson says the letter is clearly some sort of a mistake because McCain’s team would have never asked the Russian government for any kind of financial assistance.
Compared with Barack Obama's unprecedented fundraising strides, John McCain's campaign is not so well off financially. The letter sent to Churkin asked for a contribution of mere $5,000.
The Russian mission to the United Nations furnished a copy of a Sept. 29 campaign letter it received urging Churkin to contribute up to $5,000 to "stop the Obama Democrats from seizing control of the entire federal government."
The Russian mission issued a statement saying "we have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia's permanent mission to the United Nations, nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries."
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the letter was undoubtedly a mistake because the campaign would ``never'' solicit money from the Russian government.
Ruslan Bakhtin, a spokesman for Russia's UN mission, said: "It's evident that [the letter] was a mistake. It happens."
Mr McCain has opposed Moscow on a number of measures.
To evade Russia's veto in the UN Security Council he has proposed setting up an alternative body: the League of Democracies.
During the Russia-Georgia conflict this summer, he said: "We are all Georgians now."
He has also proposed throwing Russia out of the G8 over its human rights record.