Let’s show Vladimir Putin our pecs, Boris Johnson tells G7 summit

·2 min read
Boris Johnson - Stefan Rousseau/PA
Boris Johnson - Stefan Rousseau/PA

Boris Johnson has said leaders should get their tops off and “show them our pecs” at the G7 summit to prove they are tougher than Vladimir Putin.

The Prime Minister joked with other world leaders at a lunch in Germany on Sunday as they mocked the Russian president.

“Jackets on? Jackets off? Do we take our coats off?” Mr Johnson asked in Bavaria, where Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, was hosting the summit.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, suggested they wait for the official photograph before Mr Johnson said: “We have to show that we’re tougher than Putin.”

“We’re going to get the bare-chested horseback riding display,” replied Mr Trudeau, referring to Putin’s 2009 photo-op that showed him riding shirtless on a horse.

Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson - Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson - Benoit Tessier/Reuters

“Horseback riding is the best,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president.

“We’ve got to show them our pecs,” added Mr Johnson.

The comments come on the first day of the G7 summit as the leaders discussed how to combat the economic pressures that have come from Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Earlier in the morning, Mr Johnson said the price of allowing Putin to succeed in Ukraine would be “far, far higher” than the cost of backing down in the face of Russian aggression.

“The most incredible thing about the way the West has responded to the invasion of Ukraine by Putin has been the unity – Nato has been solid, the G7 has been solid and we continue to be solid,” he said.

“But in order to protect that unity, in order to make it work, we’ve got to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what’s going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling, that populations are feeling, whether it’s on the costs of their energy or food or whatever.”

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