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Power tools: a quick fix for Russian-U.S. relations?

Power tools: a quick fix for Russian-U.S. relations?

The world’s 16th richest man — already the proud owner of the world’s longest yacht — may soon also be the owner of the world’s largest drill bit (think he’s compensating?).

Roman Abramovich, the Russian dropout turned oil tycoon, recently invested $160 million in the 19-meter-wide drill, outdoing the previous recordholder by a good four meters.

Not only has Abramovich set the record, but his colossal purchase just happens to coincide with rumors that President Vladimir Putin will propose the construction of a physical link between Russia and the United States: a 64-mile, $66 billion tunnel beneath the Bering Strait.

Abramovich has denied that his purchase has any connection to Putin’s plans. But seriously, but what else is he going to do with a drill that can bore a hole wide enough for a four-lane highway?

Rumors of the tunnel come at a precarious time in U.S.-Russian relations, currently strained by the Kosovo decision, the proposed U.S. missile shield, and George W. Bush’s renewed NATO membership push for former Soviet states Georgia and Ukraine.

Hopefully, all this Cold War nostalgia won’t stand in the way of a great bicontinental highway. Just imagine the road trip possiblities — you could park your RV in Red Square.