Vladimir Putin has no plans to rein in his cockiness.
The Russian president clapped back at “disgusting” Western leaders who mocked him this week for photos that show him riding a horse topless in 2009.
The disparaging comments about Putin were made Sunday in Germany where the G7 Summit hosted heads of state from nations including the U.S., Germany, France and Canada. When it came time for a group photo, those leaders debated how they should pose. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wondered if they should remove their jackets.
“We all have to show that we’re tougher than Putin,” Johnson joked.
Russia was booted from the Group of Seven — then called the Group of Eight — following Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“We’re going to get the bare-chested, horseback riding display,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added.
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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said sarcastically, “We’ve got to show them our pecs.”
Putin addressed those remarks during a Thursday morning visit to Turkmenistan, where he said he couldn’t decide whether it would be less appealing to see G7 members shirtless or with no pants.
“I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case,” the 69-year-old Russian said.
He then suggested that to look good without clothing, “it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”
Among the concerns of Western leaders is Putin’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which Russian troops initiated in February. Putin is frequently photographed cultivating his tough guy persona by participating in physical endeavors including martial arts exhibitions and hockey games.
Among G7 leaders, Trudeau is a known fitness buff and President Biden exercises frequently.
With News Wire Services