In what appears to be a calculated dig at the US, the Kremlin urged non-governmental organisations to think seriously about "nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate".
"Public and non-governmental organisations should think of how to help him," the source from inside president Dmitry Medvedev's office told Russian news agencies. Speaking in Brussels, where Medvedev was attending a Russia-EU summit yesterday , the source went on: "Maybe, nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate."
Russia's reflexively suspicious leadership appears to have come round to WikiLeaks, having decided that the ongoing torrent of disclosures are ultimately far more damaging and disastrous to America's long-term geopolitical interests than they are to Russia's.
The Kremlin's initial reaction to stories dubbing Russia a corrupt "mafia state" and kleptocracy was, predictably, negative. Last week Medvedev's spokesman dubbed the revelations "not worthy of comment" while Putin raged that a US diplomatic cable comparing him to Batman and Medvedev to Robin was "arrogant" and "unethical". State TV ignored the claims.