Leaders of the wealthy Group of Seven countries mocked Vladimir Putin’s macho image at a meeting in Germany dominated by the Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine.
As the leaders sat down for their first three-day G7 summit meeting in the sweltering Bavarian Alps on Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked if their jackets should come off – or if they should even undress any further.
“We all have to show we’re tougher than Putin,” Johnson said, to laughter from some of his colleagues. Johnson suggested executives “show them our pecs.”
“Go horseback riding shirtless,” suggested Justin Trudeau of Canada. “Oh yes,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Horseback riding is the best.”
Putin has been photographed shirtless several times in photos released by Russian state media, including a series in which he rode a brown horse while wearing wrap-around sunglasses, a gold chain and military pants.
Another image from 2010 shows a shirtless Putin carrying a shotgun on a trip to southern Siberia, while yet another shows the Russian leader dressed in a diving suit, carrying artifacts recovered during a dive at an archaeological site off the Taman Peninsula.
Other images released over the past decade show Putin sunbathing shirtless, swimming with dolphins and riding a submersible near the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
At the G7 summit, leaders discussed efforts to further isolate Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, which killed thousands and drove millions from their homes.
Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States have proposed a ban on gold imports from Russia, aimed at wealthy Russians buying safe-haven bullion to lessen the financial impact of Western sanctions.
Leaders meeting in the Bavarian Alps are also expected to discuss a possible Russian oil price cap and efforts to tackle soaring global food and energy prices.
Reuters contributed to this report