Vladimir Putin seems hell-bent to let the world know what an asshole he is. Meeting Michael Dell at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Putin spurned Dell's offer of technological help, The New York Times reports.
Following a speech Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr. Putin, Russia’s prime minister, took some questions from Davos attendees. Michael Dell, the founder and chief executive of Dell, posed the first query. He asked how technology companies could help Russia make the best use of its talent and technology. Mr. Putin appeared less than impressed with the question.
“You see, the trick is that we don’t need any help,” Mr. Putin said, according to a video of the event on YouTube. “We are not invalids. We do not have limited capacity.”
Russia, Putin said, is an advanced nation, a leader in IT and not in need of American help.
“Our programmers are some of the best in the world,” Mr. Putin said. “No one would contest that here – not even our Indian colleagues.”
For his part Dell wasn't exactly Mr. Diplomacy. He started his question like this:
Mister Prime Minister, you spoke of the dangers of excessive government involvement, and I found myself really struck by that comment and surprised to hear that comment. Six months ago, I would have never imagined hearing that comment from yourself, but I have to say I completely agree with you.