Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Twitter-Happy Russian Adventure
Forget a war victory over Georgia or the reset with the Obama administration. The greatest foreign policy coup Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has pulled off in his nearly three years in power has been the rapprochement between Russia and… California.
For the Kremlin’s closest ally abroad is neither Obama nor Hugo Chavez, but Arnold Schwarzenegger. Dima made friends with Arnie back in June, when he stopped by California looking for tips on his pet project – recreating the Silicon Valley outside Moscow at a place called Skolkovo. Now Schwarzenegger is in Moscow for a return visit to lecture about the importance of Russian-American business ties and endure the Russian president’s Terminator II impressions.
He seems to be enjoying the trip. Since he arrived this afternoon the intrepid governor has been hanging out with marines at the U.S. Embassy, delivered an address at the ambassador’s residence and taken a ride on the Moscow metro.
How do I know all this? Because, true to Medvedev’s hi-tech, forward looking, silicon chipped vision of Russia’s future, Arnie put it all on Twitter. “People in Moscow apparently love their public transit,” he tweeted with a picture of himself grinning in a crowded carriage. That’s right, Arnie, we do – and all the stations are mobile enabled, meaning you can tweet from underground. Tech or what?
All this is the product of a new Russian foreign policy announced back in May via a document leaked to Russian Newsweek. From now on, the policy document said, Russia would be unashamedly pragmatic – and cooperative – in pursuing common interests with its Western partners.
So it’s a deal. California bottles and exports to Russia the entrepreneurial, innovative spirit, and Moscow can show L.A. and San Francisco how to run a transport system that is nothing less than a cathedral to the Soviet dream. Everyone’s a winner.
And if that doesn’t work out, maybe they can exchange man power. Half of Silicon Valley was and is run by Russian immigrants and their children, after all; now Medvedev is slashing immigration red tape for foreign managers in a bid to lure talent the other way.
Speaking of which, Moscow needs a new mayor, and Arnie’s second and final term as governor of California ends in January.
Common interest, or what?
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