Vladimir Putin Won't Help Queen Elizabeth Down Steps, President Obama Steps In — PHOTO
Classic Vlad move. That's what close watchers of foreign policy were whispering all over the world on Friday when this photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin standing while Obama helped Queen Elizabeth down some stairs emerged (the monarch was also assisted by New Zealand Governor-General Jerry Mateparae). Putin appears to basically be saying "IDGAF about Queen Elizabeth." It seems like the Kremlin leader would rather stare straight ahead than help an octogenarian descend some difficult terrain. So much for that manly Russian chivalry crap.
The unintentionally hilarious photo was taken as a bunch of world leaders descended the stairs at Benouville Castle in Normandy for a photo op after having a spot of lunch commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day, according to the Huffington Post. I'm not super religious, but this photo op came straight from above. Guess who else was in it?
- Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, the chocolate baron or whatever, and the guy whose election Putin kind of tried to sabotage with a secret mission to derail the eastern part of Ukraine;
- Angela Merkel, the badass chancellor of Germany and a go-between for Russia and other Western nations during the whole crisis over Russia's annexation of Crimea;
- Queen Margrethe of Denmark, who strategically separated Obama and Putin (awkward job, but somebody's gotta do it).
Putin looks kind of upset and constipated in both photos, while Obama is beaming and/or demonstrating America's willingness to continue to lend a helping hand to Britain at all times. And this is Putin, the supposed master of the photo op! Maybe he was just upset because there were no tigers or bears or horses on hand to pose with? In either case, not bad PR, Barry. Not bad at all.
Obama and Putin pointedly didn't talk during the public event, but apparently snagged a quick chat during the lunch itself.
Also, Putin got booed. Here is an incredible CSPAN screengrab of the moment.