Steve Jobs, Medvedev, and the iPhone of Corruption

So here’s the thing: the Russian media heard this thing that today Apple CEO Steve Jobs will give visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev an iPhone 4 the day before the plebes get to get at it.

Well, here’s the other thing, pointed out to me by Kevin O’Flynn of The Moscow Times: Medvedev may not be able to accept the gift, according to rules he himself proposed.

Chinese finger trap!

The problem is that last year Medvedev proposed a reform of the Civil Code that caps the value of a gift a civil servant can receive at 3,000 rubles. At today’s rate, that’s $97. The new iPhone starts at $199.

Moreover, only a month ago, Medvedev’s chief of staff ordered the Justice Ministry to work out even stricter regulations the President proposed: no gifts of any kind. At all. Ever.

Even if there is a loophole, existing or not yet existing, that allows the President to accept such coveted toys, it does look rather awkward since the point of Medvedev’s measures has been to root out Russia’s tragicomically endemic corruption.

Even more awkward, of course, is if Steve Jobs was never planning on giving Medvedev the iPhone to begin with.

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6 Responses to Steve Jobs, Medvedev, and the iPhone of Corruption

  1. Vladimir Logvinov says:

    If iPhone 4 can’t be given to Medvedev as a gift, then itcan be sold to him- and he’ll be the first official buyer of this gadget – not bad advertisment for an iPhone-4 🙂

  2. russiamonitor says:

    A few problems here:

    1) Medvedev is not a civil servant, he is a “public officer.”
    2) Though public officers are covered by Art. 575 of the civil code, there is an exception under subsection 2 for diplomatic events such as Medvedev’s visit to silicone valley. Thus, the gift is likely not subject to the 3,000 ruble limit. The catch, however, is that the iphone 4 would then become ‘state property,’ which Medvedev would be required to turn over to the Kremlin.

  3. Pingback: Official Russia | Russia: President Medvedev is “iPhone Compatible”

  4. Pingback: Cтив Джобс, Медведев и коррупционный iPhone | СМИ5

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