Flower power: Putin greets visiting Merkel with bouquet (VIDEO)
The Russian president seemed to be on a charm offensive on Friday as he met with his German counterpart. Vladimir Putin greeted Angela Merkel on the porch of his Sochi residence with a big bouquet of flowers.
Footage of the encounter shows the Russian leader greeting the German delegation on top of the stairs leading to the entrance of the residence. He shook Angela Merkel’s hand before presenting her with a big arrangement of white and pink flowers before inviting her in.
No dogs were seen around Merkel on this occasion. Putin once made a gaffe by introducing one of his pets to Merkel – apparently unaware that she was uncomfortable around canines.
Putin did reintroduce her to Dmitry Medvedev, though, who kept his job as prime minister and has just finished his cabinet reshuffle. The three did engage in some small talk by the door, with Merkel speaking in Russian to her hosts.
The Russian president has a reputation for gentlemanly gestures towards people he meets. In 2014, he put a shawl around the shoulders of China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan during an APEC summit in Beijing.
Earlier this month, he dodged a potential PR disaster after his guards pushed aside a veteran as he tried to approach Putin, who was walking together with the leaders of Serbia and Israel to lay flowers at a World War II monument in Moscow. Putin noticed the situation and shooed away the guards, inviting the retired general to join the group.
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