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Various G7 leaders joined British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in mocking Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of a meeting on Sunday.
Johnson made the quip while gathered around a table with US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and others. Leaders are gathering for the G7 summit in Bavaria throughout this week.
“Jackets? Jackets removed? Shall we undress? Johnson said, referring to the room’s seemingly intense temperature.
Trudeau suggested keeping the jackets on long enough to take pictures.
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“We have to show that we are tougher than Putin,” Johnson joked.
“We’re going to have the shirtless riding show,” Trudeau added.
Johnson said: “We have to show them our pecs”, while Von der Leyen added: “Riding is the best.”
Biden did not weigh in on the jokes.
In public photos, Putin has long sought to portray himself as a skilled athlete and outdoor enthusiast.
The exchange came hours after the Biden administration accused Russia of using torture and electrocution during its invasion of Ukraine on Sunday. Biden has repeatedly called on Putin to face a war crimes trial.
A statement from the White House marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
“Any case of torture is one too many, yet every year countless victims suffer this brutal violation of their human rights and dignity,” Biden wrote. “This year we have been shocked by the horrific acts committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, including multiple credible reports of torture such as beatings, electric shocks and mock executions.”
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“In Mali and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups have been documented to have massacred and tortured local populations, while in Mali and the Central African Republic, Kremlin-aligned Wagner mercenaries are said to have employed similar cruel and illegal tactics” , he added.
Ukrainian authorities are prosecuting approximately 16,000 cases of alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces.
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