Vladimir Putin slapped down Michael Dell at the World Economic Forum in Davos and hopefully some wisdom will come from this.
Then it was time for questions. First up: Dell. He praised Russia’s technical and scientific prowess, and then asked: “How can we help” you to expand IT in Russia.
Big mistake. Russia has been allergic to offers of aid from the West ever since hundreds of overpaid consultants arrived in Moscow after the collapse of Communism, in 1991, and proceeded to hand out an array of advice that proved, at times, useless or dangerous.
Putin’s withering reply to Dell: “We don’t need help. We are not invalids. We don’t have limited mental capacity.”
Which demonstrates several things:
1. when a multinational company in effect offers to invest more in Russia (i.e “here are some assets, please confiscate them at your leisure like you did with those idiot western oil companies”), the kleptocrat-in-chief would rather pretend that his country is “not an invalid” in spite of copious evidence that Russia is an economic basket case. So yes, Vladimir Putin does indeed appear to have limited mental capacity even in his role as kleptocrat.
A friend of mine suggested the theory that Putin was angry that Dell purchased Alienware.