President Dmitry Medvedev arrives in California today for the first leg of a three-day tour that will focus heavily on “innovation,” a byword for trying to diversify its economy away from extraction of oil and the like. (Today, Russia is the world’s biggest exporter of oil, having recently lapped Saudi Arabia.)
It’s a packed schedule. Today, Medvedev meets with Governor Arnold, hilarity will ensue, and then tonight, the Russian president will sup at the home of George Schultz, Reagan’s Secretary of State.
Tomorrow, Medvedev will visit Twitter (where he once had an account), Cisco (where a contract will be signed to do business in Skolkovo, the site of the future Russian Silicon Valley), and the California outpost of Yandex, the major Russian search engine.
Medvedev will also get a personal tour of Apple’s Cupertino facilities from Steve Jobs himself. Medvedev, an avid Mac user, allegedly already has an iPad. And now, according to a source in the Russian delegation, Jobs will help Medvedev stay ahead of the curve once more: he will give the Russian president an iPhone 4, a day before it officially goes on sale.
Thursday: meeting with Obama. Yawn.