Later in June, Putin dissed hundreds of top global corporate executives at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, a meeting organized by the Kremlin to reassure foreign investors that Russia is a good destination for their capital, by keeping them waiting for 40 minutes in a crowded auditorium. Putin reportedly arrived three hours late for another, private, meeting with foreign CEOs, who were forced to cool their heels in a narrow corridor. Those incidents prompted the English-language Moscow Times to pen an editorial – rare in any Russian media – scolding Putin for his lack of manners.
"Obviously, foreign investors are not going to ignore Russia because Putin cannot make it to meetings on time," the paper wrote. "Russia offers tremendous opportunities, and Putin has made it easier to invest here. But his apparent inability to keep appointments does reveal a lack of respect for investors, for whom 'time is money.' Putin is overlooking a simple way to show investors that he values them. He should be on time."
Over the years, Putin has kept the Finnish president waiting for two hours, German Chancellor Angela Merkel for 40 minutes, the king of Sweden for 30 minutes, the king and queen of Spain for 20 minutes, and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for three hours.