UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - John McCain's U.S. presidential election campaign has solicited a financial contribution from an unlikely source -- Russia's U.N. envoy -- but a McCain spokesman said on Monday it was a mistake.
In the letter, McCain urged Russia's U.N. Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, to contribute anywhere from $35 to $5,000 to help ensure McCain's victory over Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama, currently ahead in voter preference polls.
"If I have the honor of continuing to serve you, I make you this promise: We will always put America -- her strength, her ideals, her future -- before every other consideration," McCain assured Churkin.
Moscow's mission to the United Nations issued a terse statement on the Republican presidential candidate's letter, saying that the Russian government and its officials "do not finance political activity in foreign countries."
A spokesman for McCain, a long-time critic of Russia, had a simple explanation for the fundraising letter's arrival at the Russian mission in New York: "It was an error in the mailing list."