Paper in the outhouse over Russia remark

Published Jan 19, 2000


Ottawa - Russian diplomats have complained - twice - about a Canadian newspaper editorial which branded Russia a filthy and corrupt "lump of dung" where nothing good would ever happen.

"Russian officials raised the article with their Canadian counterparts in Moscow and Ottawa to register their regret over the piece," said foreign ministry spokesperson Valerie Noftle.

Although she emphasised that Moscow had not formally protested about the Ottawa Citizen article earlier this month, Russian diplomats in Ottawa did little to hide their outrage.

They said Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who wrote to the daily newspaper to say the piece reminded him of Nazi propaganda, had contacted officials at the Canadian foreign ministry.

In the offending article, writer John Robson said there was no chance that Russia's new acting president Vladimir Putin would ever turn Russia into a normal state.

"Normal for Russia is filthy, corrupt, menacing and hollow. Nothing good has happened there, nor will it. Russia is a lump of dung wrapped in a cabbage leaf hidden in an outhouse," he wrote, before detailing low points of Russian and Soviet history. - Reuters

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