Elon Musk and Vladimir Putin consider picking each other’s brains in live chat

Elon Musk discusses future of SpaceX's Starship system

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One is the richest person on the planet; the other has been leader of Russia since 2000. And they could be about to meet in a way suited to the year 2021. On Sunday, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk invited Vladimir Putin to join him for a chat on a new social media platform named Clubhouse.

It is an idea that began on Twitter – as Mr Musk simply wrote to the Kremlin’s account “Would you like to join me for a conversation on Clubhouse?”

He followed the message with another in Russian, writing: “It would be a great honour to speak with you.”

And it seems to have piqued the Kremlin’s interest as spokesperson Dmitry Peskov discussed the invitation in a subsequent conference call.

He told Reuters reporters: “In general, this is of course a very interesting proposal, but we need to understand what is meant, what is being proposed… first we need to check, then we will react.”

Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising aspect is that Mr Putin, a former KGB officer, once described the internet as a CIA project and has for years styled himself as suspicious of modern technology.

Mr Peskov said: “We want to figure it out first. President Putin does not personally use social networks directly, he doesn’t have them.”

Clubhouse, a San Francisco-based audio only app that was launched last year, requires newcomers to be invited by existing users before they can join.

It offers a selection of audio chat rooms that are divided by topic.

CNN’s Paul R. La Monica discussed how Mr Putin may perceive the invite.

He said: “I think the Kremlin is being polite because Elon Musk is now wealthier than Jeff Bezos – he is the world’s richest human being.

“So they probably think any request by Musk should be taken semi-seriously.

“But I would be incredibly surprised if the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin decide ‘Yeah we want to have a free exchanging conversation with Elon Musk and all of his social media followers about any sort of topic.

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“I think it’s just Elon Musk being Elon Musk.”

Billionaire Musk is an ever-present voice on Twitter and has been particularly vocal on the topic of cryptocurrencies of late.

In reference to his plans to populate Mars, he promoted the idea of a new currency, telling his followers: “There will definitely be a MarsCoin!”

It would be the world’s first extraterrestrial currency.

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