TODAY   |  June 13, 2013

Putin shows off his English in viral video

In a bid to win Russia’s selection as the host of the 2020 World Expo, Russian president Vladimir Putin turned pitchman, speaking in English in a staged video. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> meantime, a new video of russian president vladimir putin is making waves this morning not for what he says, but for the language in which he says it, english. here's nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell .

>> i am delighted to meet members and guests of the general assembly of the international exhibitions bureau .

>> reporter: it's not the vladimir putin americans are used to, the controversial russian president playing the role of pitch man and speaking english in an attempt to win russia 's selection as host of the 2020 world expo . the awkwardly staged video showing putin obviously reading off a teleprompter quickly went viral.

>> we launch our bid to host the world expo 2020 .

>> reporter: putin is hardly an obvious candidate for good will ambassador as thousands of protesters were demanding his resignation wednesday. it's not the first time russia 's strong man has presented a flair for showmanship. posing shirtless on horseback, piloting a hang glider, a race car, a motorcycle. and while u.s. officials say putin sticks to russian when it really counts at summits, he has shown off his english before. on blueberry hill

>> reporter: performing the fats domino classic " blueberry hill " at a charity event in st. petersburg, perhaps all part of an effort to not get lost in translation . for "today," andrea mitchell , nbc news, washington.

>> russia 's got talent.

>> if you ever plan on going to russia , it's best if you just don't say anything.

>> exactly right.

>> we're going to sochi?

>> that's right. we are.