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How much money was Putin paid for his NY Times op-ed?

Russias President Vladimir Putin gestures during a press conference at the end of the G20 summit on September 6, 2013 in Saint Petersburg. World leaders at the G20 summit on Friday failed to bridge their bitter divisions over US plans for military action against the Syrian regime, with Washington signalling that it has given up on securing Russia's support at the UN on the crisis. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Freelance opinion pieces contributed to the New York Times are of course compensated by the Times. So how much was Russia President Vladimir Putin paid for his new op-ed in the publication?

Nothing, according to the Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan, who explained the back story behind the op-ed in a blog post:

The Times editorial department was approached Wednesday by an American public relations firm that represents Mr. Putin, offering the piece.  Also on Wednesday, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, in the course of an interview about Syria, mentioned to The Times’s Moscow bureau chief Steven Myers that an article was in the works.

[Editorial page Editor Andrew] Rosenthal agreed to review the article and quickly decided to publish it. It was posted on the Times Web site by Wednesday evening.

“I thought it was well-written, well-argued,” he said. “I don’t agree with many of the points in it, but that is irrelevant.”


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