Senator McCain invited to speak live on Rossiya 1 television

John McCain file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 15, 2013) Russian Journalist Vladimir Solovyov has invited U.S. Republican Senator John McCain to speak live in his evening program on Rossiya 1 television.

“On behalf of the radio and television holding VGTRK, I invite Senator John McCain to speak live in the Sunday Evening program,” Solovyov wrote in his Twitter blog.

Solovyov said later on Rossiya 24 television that he has not received a reply yet.

McCain, a hawkish American senator known for his criticism of Russia in the U.S. Congress, pledged to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s article about Syria in The New York Times, by contributing a column to the Russian daily Pravda, the BBC said on Saturday, citing a statement by a Congressional spokesman.

“Senator John McCain, a former presidential candidate and a prominent Republican figure, was deeply hurt by President Vladimir Putin’s address to the American people through The New York Times, and said he would like to speak to the Russian people through the daily Pravda. By all accounts he has forgotten that now is not the year 1986, and that the Soviet Union no longer exists,” Solovyov said.

“We will pay for his flight to Moscow and his stay here, and we guarantee that Senator McCain will address the Russian people live,” he said.

The BBC earlier reported that McCain criticized Putin’s article in the American newspaper, describing it as insulting, and expressed ‘strong skepticism” about the Russian proposal aimed at getting Damascus to scrap chemical weapons.

The Kremlin spokesman, meanwhile, expressed surprise over the commentaries on Putin’s article, arriving from Washington.

The Russian side “did not seek confrontation with anyone, and did not want to offend anyone, either,” Dmitry Peskov said.

“Generally, Putin has no habit of moralizing in international affairs,” he said.

“Our American friends have developed a habit of patting everyone on the shoulder in a patronizing manner over the past few decades. We find it difficult to understand why our partners and colleagues in the White House administration continue to insist on their exclusiveness. Democracy implies existence in conditions of competition. One can get the impression sometimes that our partners have forgotten all about this,” Peskov said.

Putin said in an article about Syria published on Thursday that he sees U.S. President Barack Obama’s idea of the American nation’s exclusiveness as dangerous. The White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to the article by a lengthy commentary.