Talk about a political odd couple... Russian President Dmitry Medvedev apparently has a new friend in politics, outgoing California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and just to make the story a little stranger, the two have apparently arranged a ski date, via Twitter. Nice to see 2011 is off to a boring start.
The story actually makes a little sense once you start to dig into it. The two leaders met when Medvedev was on a tour of California's Silicon Valley; Medvedev's pet project has been to launch a Russian version of Silicon Valley in the Skolkovo suburb outside Moscow, an attempt to jump-start the Russian hi-tech sector and to diversify the Russian economy away from extraction activities, namely oil and natural gas (on a side note, Russia has passed Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil exporter). Apparently the two just really hit it off. For his part, Schwarzenegger is looking for the next act in his political career now that his role as governor is finished; Schwarzenegger himself has hinted about becoming a spokesman/cheerleader for the green energy sector, though there is also speculation that he may go back into business, his cozy relationship with Medvedev could indicate that he'd be willing to jump into the rough-and-tumble world of Russian business.
Schwarzenegger of course has some experience in Russia dating back to his role as a Russian super-cop in the 1988 film “Red Heat”, the first major American movie allowed to film in Red Square among other Russian locales. And for Medvedev it also means that he's friends with one of the few politicians in the world who could possibly beat up his political partner (and judo black belt) Vladimir Putin.
The two may choose to have their ski date outside of Sochi, Russia, which would help top promote the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in the city.
3 days ago