‘He’s cute!’: Serbian president gifts Putin fierce and loyal Balkan sheepdog
Pasha, a 3-month-old Sarplaninac with a seven-generation family tree, became the fifth canine to be given to Vladimir Putin since he first became president in 2000, but is perhaps the most symbolic furry gift he has ever received.
“He’s cute!” exclaimed Putin, after an exchange with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandr Vucic at his residence in Belgrade.
The episode was one of the highlights of the warmest reception the Russian leader is likely to experience anywhere in Europe.
During the visit, Vucic – in good Russian – talked about how in his home village “Russia was as loved as Serbia,” spoke about how much Moscow helped Belgrade retain its military and economic independence, and promised that Putin can “rely on” the support of Serbs.
Thus, the present of an ancient dog breed that is known for both its self-reliance and loyalty, as well as courage that sometimes sees it saving the flock from predators as large as bears.
Putin has previously been gifted so many puppies – including Konni, a Labrador retriever who famously scared Angela Merkel – it might seem like this is a redundant present for the Russian leader.Also on rt.com All the president’s pets: Putin household celebrates new arrival (VIDEOS)
But all such gifts have to be agreed in advance between high-level diplomats, who have previously mentioned rejecting canine gifts, so the decision to accept Pasha was also a meaningful gesture from the Kremlin.
Yet there isn't always such a political message. As Putin is known as an animal lover, he has been presented with over half a dozen horses, a pair of leopards, a tiger cub, and a she-goat from the-then mayor of Moscow.
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