The Russian Mission to the United Nations issued a bizarre statement to the UN press corps today stating simply, “We have received a letter from Senator John McCain requesting financial contribution to his Presidential campaign. In this connection we would like to reiterate that Russian officials, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations or the Russian Government do not finance political activity in foreign countries.”

Intrigued, I called the Russian Mission and a press officer there directed me to this item on the Mission’s website. It seems that the McCain-Palin campaign sent a generic fundraising letter to Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly I Churkin. The letter, dated September 29, 2008, reads in part:

Dear Friend…Today I am reaching out to you to ask you to sign and return the enclosed 2008 Pledge of Support along with a campaign contribution of $35, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $2,500 or even $5,000 to the McCain-Palin Victory 2008.

As we have already witnessed, this has been an extremely tough, hard-fought campaign, and it will be to the very end.

In recent years, elections have been fought within the margins of small differences. This one clearly will not be. The differences between our Republican candidates and that of the Obama Democrats could not be greater. And we intend to fight as hard as we can to ensure that our principles prevail.

The spokesperson from the Russian UN Mission believes that that this letter was received in error. The letter contains no honorifics to describe Ambassador Churkin nor does it refer at all to Russia. It is simply a generic fundraising letter–albeit sent to the top Russian diplomat at the United Nations.

The Russian Mission to the United Nations has not heard from the McCain-Palin campaign since issuing the statement this morning.

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