Putin Jokes With a Judo Banker: You Don’t Want To Meet Russian Wrestling Legend Alexander Karelin!

Ioannou Jason Karim (Barak UK Limited): Thank you very much to VTB and the panelists. Mr President, my name is Jason Joannou; I am a judo black belt and an oil trader. If later visionary… a visionary plan for Africa… What is your weight category? Ultra-heavy weight. We will be meeting with you either at a desk or when we will have tea and congratulate each other on another victory. I look forward to it, sir. I am reminded of sensei Jigoro Kano’s five principles of Kodokan judo, specifically his third principle, in your vision for Africa, which is ‘consider fully, act decisively.’ A number of people have looked at Africa and seen great opportunity, but have not invested in the infrastructure. If you look at Nigeria – two hundred million people with four gigawatt of its solar capacity. It is not just transfer technology that is needed, it is infrastructure. It is education. It is processes, like you said. In terms of your near-term and your medium-term vision, are there any areas of infrastructure or natural resources that you see very opportune to Russia of area of cooperation? And then, my second question is, how can I get training with the great Alexander Karelin? Mr Karelin, as you know, was a free-style wrestler, not a judoka. So, if you want to get a competitive edge over him, you had better not try, because he is still in very good shape. True, I do not know when you stopped training. But we should not meet on a tatami or a wrestling mat. I believe the active phase of our sports activities, at least in the case of wrestling, is in the past. As far as relations with Africa are concerned, I have already commented on this and will hardly be able to add anything of substance. With a population of 200 million, Nigeria is certainly an African giant. This has to do not only with the scale of oil production. Nigeria is a very promising country. We have very good relations with Nigeria. As for infrastructure, you know we also have much to offer. I am referring to pipeline transport, aviation, railway transport, motor roads, power production and electric transmission lines, as well as the internet. You know we have many well-thought-out and specific proposals for our African friends. I hope they will be implemented, including in Nigeria. Personally, for you, I wish all the best both in your professional activities and in your sports career. Thank you very much.

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