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.