This past Saturday, Elon Musk posted what could very well be his most unexpected tweet yet by inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to a conversation using Clubhouse, a drop-in voice conference app. In a follow-up tweet, Musk added that speaking with the Russian president would be a great honor.
Needless to say, Musk’s request seemed like a long shot on its own. After all, the Russian president is arguably one of the most notable, if not controversial, leaders in the world today. Having such a person meet Musk for a conversation, and in a platform such as Clubhouse at that, would be unprecedented. But in what could very well be a twist of fate on its own, the Kremlin has actually responded to Musk’s request.
As noted in a report from Russian publication RBC.ru, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the head of state, stated that Musk’s proposal is interesting. Peskov did note that the Russian president himself does not use social media networks directly, so a number of factors have to be ironed out 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.
The Kremlin has not issued further comments about the matter as of writing.
Considering that Musk has not hinted at any of the topics he wishes to discuss with the Russian president, the internet has been abuzz with speculation about what the CEO wishes to talk about. EV advocates have suggested that Musk may be looking to bring Tesla and its electric vehicles to Russia, though such a proposal would likely not warrant a conversation on a public platform like Clubhouse. SpaceX enthusiasts have also suggested that Musk may be looking to speak with the president about possible space-related projects.
Interestingly enough, Elon Musk has attempted to do business with Russia in 2001. Musk had the same Martian ambitions then, but he had no rockets yet. Musk and his partners Adeo Ressi and Jim Cantrell tried shopping for rockets from European space company Arianespace, but the company’s rockets were too expensive. Musk then got wind that the Russians were looking to unload some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles. A deal was initially reached, but when it was time to purchase the ICBMs, the Russians raised the missiles’ price to $21 million each.
Speaking with Esquire, Cantrell noted that the Russians opted to insult Musk further. “They said, ‘Oh, little boy, you don’t have the money?’” Cantrell recounted. The deal fell through, and on the way back to the United States, Musk went to work on his computer. After crunching numbers, Musk then remarked that they could just build a rocket themselves. The rest, of course, is history.