G7 leaders mock Putin’s macho image – POLITICO
Leaders of the world’s seven most industrialized nations mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tough-guy image on Sunday after arriving at the G7 summit in the German Alps.
As they sat down for a meeting in a heated room, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked: “Jackets? Jackets removed? Can we undress? before adding: « We all have to show that we are tougher than Putin. »
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joked, « We’re going to have the shirtless riding show. » European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who attended the G7 because the EU is technically an “unlisted” member, spoke then, saying: “Oh yes. Horseback riding is the best. Johnson added: « We have to show them our pecs. »
The leaders were referring to a series of infamous photo ops published regularly by the Kremlin in which Putin, often shirtless, rides horses, fishes and swims in icy waters.
But despite the lighthearted moment, the specter of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine looms over the three-day G7 summit at Schloss Elmau, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address Monday morning via video link.
As world leaders prepared for their meeting in Bavaria, Kyiv suffered the heaviest shelling it has seen in weeks, with Russian missiles hitting residential buildings and a kindergarten in the Ukrainian capital, injuring six people and killing one person, according to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. .
This is not the first time that Putin has bombed Ukraine at a key moment on the world stage.
Russia hit Lviv in March when US President Joe Biden gave a major speech in Warsaw in which he said Putin “cannot stay in power”. In April, Putin launched a bomb attack on Kyiv barely an hour after UN chief António Guterres held a press conference with Zelenskyy in the capital.
Russia was expelled from the G8 after its annexation of Crimea in 2014.