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G7 leaders joke about stripping to outdo bare-chested Putin

From left, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and French President Emmanuel Macron pose during a group photo at the G7 summit at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The Group of Seven leading economic powers are meeting in Germany for their annual gathering Sunday through Tuesday. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, Pool)

The leaders of the Group of Seven nations chuckled about stripping off their clothes for photographs on Sunday to outdo Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has often appeared shirtless in images disseminated 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 a video joking about their impending photoshoot.

“Jackets on? Jackets off? Shall we take our clothes off?” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked other leaders sitting around a table. “We all have to show that we’re tougher than Putin.” 

“We’re going to get the bare-chested horseback riding display,” Trudeau quipped, referencing a widely shared photo of Putin. 

“There you go! There you go! We’ve got to show them our pecs!” Johnson responded.

Putin’s predilection for going shirtless doing outdoors activities is part of his carefully crafted strongman image. The Russian president is also an accomplished judo practitioner.

Russia was kicked out of what was previously called the G8 in 2014 following its initial invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. 

The current G7 nations include the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan. 

President Biden announced Sunday that the group will impose new import bans on Russian gold as a punishment for Moscow’s going invasion of Ukraine.

Biden spent Sunday morning meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and later participated in a working lunch with other leaders.  

A White House readout of Biden’s meeting with Scholz indicated Ukraine was a main topic of conversation.

“The leaders underlined their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as their continued provision of military, economic, humanitarian, and diplomatic support to help Ukraine defend its democracy against Russian aggression,” the White House readout said. “The leaders also discussed efforts to alleviate the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine on global food and energy security.” 

–Updated on June 27 at 6:30 a.m.

Tags Biden Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Canada France G7 summit G7 summit G7 summit Germany Great Britain Italy Japan Justin Trudeau Justin Trudeau Olaf Scholz Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine war United States Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin
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