G7 leaders take in around Putin

World leaders mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s image as a strongman during their lunch on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Germany on Sunday, and they joked that they should just wear T-shirts or something less.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked: “Do we keep our jackets? Do we take them off?” As they sit at a table at Elmo’s castle in Bavaria, where German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is hosting the G7 summit.

Leaders from Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union have discussed the dilemma.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested waiting for the official photo before undressing, but Johnson joked: “We have to prove that we are stronger than Putin.”

Then Trudeau said, “We’re going to have a scene of a bare-chested jockey on horseback,” referring to Putin’s famous 2009 photo of him riding bare-chested. For her part, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that “riding is the best thing”, without commenting specifically on the issue of clothing. “We have to show them our muscles,” Johnson replied. In the end, the leaders in suit and tie posed for photos before the reporters left the room, leaving the debate on clothes behind closed doors.