This past Saturday, Elon Musk posted what may very well be his most surprising tweet yet, inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to a chat using Clubhouse, a drop-in voice conference app. Musk added in a follow-up tweet that speaking to the Russian president would be a great honor.
Needless to say, Musk’s request looked like a long shot. The Russian president, after all, is arguably one of today’s most notable, if not controversial, leaders in the world. It would be unusual to have such a person meet Musk for a discussion, and on a forum like Clubhouse at that. But the Kremlin has actually replied to Musk’s request in what could very well be a twist of fate on its own.
As noted in the Russian RBC.ru article, Dmitry Peskov, the Head of State’s press secretary, said that Musk’s proposal was important. Peskov noted that the Russian president himself does not explicitly use social media networks, so it is important to iron out a range of factors first. Otherwise, the Kremlin does seem to be seriously considering Elon Musk’s Clubhouse invitation.
“First, we want to figure it out; you know that President Putin does not directly use social networks; he personally does not run them. In general, this is a very interesting proposal, but one must first understand what is meant, what is proposed,” Peskov said.
No further statements on the matter have been given by the Kremlin as of this post.
The internet has been abuzz with rumors about what the CEO wants to talk about, provided that Musk has not hinted at any of the subjects he wishes to discuss with the Russian president. EV advocates have indicated that Musk might be looking to introduce Tesla and its electric vehicles to Russia, but on a public forum like Clubhouse, such a plan would probably not merit a discussion. SpaceX enthusiasts have also indicated that Musk might be looking to explore future space-related ventures with the president.
Interestingly enough, in 2001, Elon Musk sought to do business with Russia. Musk had the same Martian ambitions then, but he didn’t have any missiles yet. Musk and his associates, Adeo Ressi and Jim Cantrell, tried to buy rockets from the European space firm, Arianespace, but the rockets were too costly. Musk then got wind that some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles were being unloaded by the Russians. Initially, an agreement was reached, but when it was time to buy the ICBMs, the Russians raised the price of the missiles to $21 million each.
Cantrell noticed, speaking with Esquire, that the Russians preferred to further taunt Musk. They saidThey said, “Oh, little boy, you don’t have the money?” recalled Cantrell. The deal fell through, and Musk went to work on his computer on the way back to the United States. Musk then remarked after crunching numbers that they should just create a rocket themselves. The rest is history, of course.
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