Leaders of the Group of Seven Nations laughed as they took off their photo clothes on Sunday to outdo Russian President Vladimir Putin, who often appeared shirtless in images spread by the Kremlin.
During the first day of the three-day G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau could be heard on video joking at the expense of their imminent photographing.
“Jackets on? Take off your jackets? Shall we take off our clothes? ” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked other leaders sitting at the table. “We all need to show that we are stronger than Putin.”
“We will get a depiction of riding bare-breasted,” Trudeau added, referring to a frequently shared photo of Putin.
“Here! Here! We have to show them our breasts!” Johnson replied.
Putin’s penchant for t-shirt-free outdoor activities is part of his carefully crafted image of a powerful man. The Russian president is also a top judo practitioner.
Russia was kicked out of what was previously called the G8 in 2014 after the initial invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
Current G7 countries include the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Japan.
President Biden announced on Sunday that the group would introduce new bans on Russian gold imports as a punishment for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden held a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday morning, and later attended a working lunch with other leaders.
The White House reading of Biden’s meeting with Scholz showed that Ukraine is the main topic of conversation.
“The leaders emphasized their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as its continued military, economic, humanitarian and diplomatic support to help Ukraine defend its democracy from Russian aggression,” the White House said in a statement. “Leaders also discussed efforts to mitigate the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on global food and energy security.”
–Updated June 27 at 6:30 p.m.
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