Davos (Switzerland) - At the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin, the prime minister of Russia, took questions from attendees. The first question from Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, met with an unexpected "boot to the head". He asked the prime minister in what ways technology companies could aid Russia in making the best use of its technology interests and talent. To put it mildly, Putin was not impressed with the question.
It probably was not to Dell's advantage that he prefaced his question with a jab at the politics of Putin by saying, "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 [it]." He continued, "Six months ago, I would have never imagined hearing that comment from yourself, but I have to say I completely agree with you." Dell then asked how technology companies could help the Russian people.
Putin's reply was, "You see, the trick is that we don't need any help. We are not invalids. We do not have limited capacity."
The audience was somewhat stunned by Putin's aggressive comments. Reports say that Putin doesn't have a limited mental capacity, rather just a "limited capacity".
Mr. Putin was adamant that Russia should be considered an advanced nation rather than a developing one that needs aid. He discussed the country's broad range of use for computers, and discussed Internet access in Russian schools even bragging about his country's software developers.
"Our programmers are some of the best in the world," he said. "No one would contest that here – not even our Indian colleagues."
This point is actually quite true; Sun Microsystems and Intel have requested the aid of Russia for some of their most intense and sophisticated software projects. In addition, we can also see how much amazing malware comes straight from this country.