MOSCOW, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin is not going to debate U.S. Senator John McCain via media, the Kremlin said Thursday.
"Engaging in any debates would not make any sense. It is the point of view of a man who lives overseas," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
On Wednesday, hawkish Republican senator McCain published an article titled "Russians Deserve Better Than Putin" in Russia's Pravda.ru online newspaper. In the opinion piece, the senator claimed he was not anti-Russian, as many Russian politicians portray him, but "more pro-Russian than the regime."
Peskov said Putin has not read the article yet but he would certainly do so as the Kremlin is aware the U.S. senator "is not a fan of Putin."
Peskov also advised that U.S. politicians should not tell Russian citizens whom they should elect as their president.
"Russians are able to answer the question 'Who they deserve (as their leader)?' on their own, and they do so when elections are held. I do not think that the opinion of any person who lives overseas can play any role in swaying Russians' preferences," Peskov said.
Last Wednesday, the New York Times published Putin's article titled "A Plea for Caution From Russia" where the Russian president argued for caution in the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, while urging the U.S. to work through the mechanism of the UN for a peaceful resolution to the issue.