Pavel Durov: drop in oil prices – the only chance for reform in Russia




In an interview with The New York Times founder of “VKontakte” Pavel Durov said that the drop in oil prices gives Russia a “unique opportunity” to carry out economic and political reforms. He told the publication of pirated content “VKontakte” social network similarity with Facebook, siloviki on his doorstep, and the reasons that prompted him to develop a messenger Telegram.


“When oil prices are high, the incentive for these reforms do not. In this situation, the changes are not necessary, since all anyway – said Durov. He added that since he is a supporter of the free market, it is difficult to understand the direction in which Russia is moving now.

This is the first interview with Paul Durov outside cyberspace since he left Russia. NYT journalist Danny Hakim met him in London, when the owner was going on Technology Conference in San Francisco, where he must demonstrate Telegram.

Durov said that when he started work on the “VKontakte” in 2006, he saw Russia as a libertarian and free from taxes utopia for techies. According to him, while the Internet is absolutely not regulated in some way Russia was more liberal than the United States.

Businessman admitted that the design of an early version of “VKontakte” greatly influenced by Facebook. “Otherwise, I would take a lot of time to develop it, and I was not a professional designer,” – explained Durov.

“They [security forces who came to Durov in 2011 during a wave of opposition rallies] have guns, and they looked very seriously. It seemed that they were going to break the door. I realized that the safe way of communication I have not. Thus began Telegram », – he said.

“I like to make fun of serious things,” – said the founder of “VKontakte”, adding that he views closer to the Taoist or Buddhist. “I – the creation of a peaceful, I – a vegetarian, I do not like war,” – explained Durov his attitude toward the world.

He recalls that when he lived in Russia, spoke with very rich men, sailed with them on huge yachts, fly in private jets, mansions visited, but realized that it was not for him. “I am happy here and now, not having anywhere any property,” – said Durov, adding that he considers himself a citizen of the world.

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