A publicized joke by G7 leaders Johnson and Trudeau about a well-known topless photo of Putin provoked the Russian president to replicate it. He also has a few fitness tips for western heads of state and government up his sleeve.
Recent quips at the G7 summit over the shirtless photos of Vladimir Putin did not go down well with the Kremlin chief. If the G7 leaders had exposed themselves, it would have been a "disgusting sight," the Russian president told journalists in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat.
The conversation Putin touched on happened at the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria on Sunday afternoon. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked whether jackets should be taken off or not in view of the high temperatures, adding: "We all have to show that we are tougher than Putin." He later said, "We have to show them our abs." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied, among other things: Riding shirtless, you have to do that. He alluded to a well-known photo of Putin in such a pose.
"I don't know how they wanted to undress, above or below the waistline. I think it would have been a disgusting sight in any case," Putin was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS. For the harmony between body and soul you have to do sports, not drink too much alcohol and give up other bad habits, Putin instructed the heads of state and government of the leading democratic industrialized countries.
Until the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which belongs to Ukraine, in 2014, Russia was a participant in the expanded G8 summits. Shirtless photos of Putin are legendary. The Russian President has repeatedly been portrayed by the state media as a strong, nature-loving leader. In the West, this repeatedly triggered scorn and ridicule.