- By Neha PaliwalNeha Paliwal is the Editorial Assistant for Democracy Lab.
This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin made waves in the United States by offering NSA leaker Edward Snowden asylum and ragging on the Obama administration for its out-of-control surveillance programs. But today he’s gotten our attention for an entirely different reason: speaking English.
In a video posted on the Kremlin’s website on Wednesday, Putin makes an English-language appeal to the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau to let Russia host the 2020 World Expo, which he characterizes as a high-priority national project. He makes it very clear that Russia will fulfill all the requirements for hosting the event.
You can watch the clip in full below:
While the Russian leader doesn’t speak English often, this admittedly isn’t the first time he’s shown off his language skills. In 2010, for instance, he spoke at the Judo Championships in Vienna. To be honest, I think he did a lot better then (perhaps his love of judo scared off stage fright).
He also spoke to CNN in 2008:
And who could forget his classic performance of "Blueberry Hill":
In comparison, Putin’s appeal this week doesn’t seem all that dramatic. Where was the piano?
(h/t: Miriam Elder)