Washington (CNN ) - When The New York Times published an opinion piece by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, Sen. John McCain was one of many elected officials who reacted with ire.
McCain, a vocal proponent of increased U.S. intervention in Syria, said in an interview on CNN’s “The Lead” that he was “offended” and joked he would like to be able to write an op-ed of his own for the Russian newspaper Pravda.
McCain seemed to get his wish on Friday when the editors of Pravda told a blog affiliated with Foreign Policy magazine they’d be happy to consider an op-ed submission by the senator. McCain told reporters on Sunday that such an opinion piece is currently in the works.
The only problem? McCain is working with the wrong Pravda.
The Pravda that McCain had in mind is one of the oldest Russian newspapers, founded in 1912. Pravda, which means “the truth” in Russian, became the biggest newspaper during the Soviet period of Russian history. It was the official mouthpiece of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party. The newspaper was closed down after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, then reopened in 1997 as the official paper of the Russian Communist Party. The current Pravda has considerably smaller circulation compared to its Soviet glory days.
The editors of that paper denied they had any plans to publish a McCain op-ed. Editor Boris Komotsky said in a statement on the Communist Party’s website that a contribution by McCain was not in the works, and that his paper would only accept an opinion piece from McCain if the senator’s “arguments on the issue was not in contradiction to the communist party’s stand on the conflict of Syria.”
He went on to say that his party believes “the war in Syria is between the legitimate government of Syria supported by the people and the international terrorist groups encouraged by the foreign governments.”
Pravda.ru, which McCain is in talks with through Foreign Policy magazine, is an electronic news website founded in 1999. Even though the website also bears the name Pravda, it is not connected to Pravda newspaper. The website has English and Russian editions and covers everything from politics to fashion and celebrities.
The online publication, Pravda.ru, for its part confirmed to CNN that it is talking with the Republican senator, saying in a statement, “We have not received the column from Mr. McCain yet, but the people from his administration said that he would have it ready in the next couple of days. We said that we would accept his column and publish it, because it is vital for us to present different points of view. He accepted, and the piece is going to appear soon. “
Asked on Sunday whether he was clear on which Pravda he was writing for, McCain told reporters, “I hope it's Pravda the Communist publication.”
It seems he may be disappointed.