Russia’s Vladimir Putin took a swipe at Western leaders who mocked his bare-chested horse-riding, saying that they would look “disgusting” in the buff.
The Kremlin strongman made the snarky comment during a visit to the Russia-friendly Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan Thursday when asked about G7 leaders poking fun at him earlier this week.
As they sat down for talks in the German Alps, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson quipped that G7 leaders could take their clothes off to “show that we’re tougher than Putin” and “show them our pecs.”
His Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, joked that they could try to match Putin’s infamous 2009 naked torso pictures with a “bare-chested horseback riding display.”
Speaking to reporters in Turkmenistan Thursday, the Russian president clapped back at the G7 participants, suggesting that they could not emulate him because, unlike him, they lead unhealthy lifestyles.
“I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” he said. “But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
The 69-year-old president added, “Everything in a person should be harmonious: both body and soul, but for that to happen it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”
Putin then struck a patronizing tone, explaining that he knows all the G7 leaders, and that they are all “people of character who could achieve success if they put their minds to it.”
He lectured that they “must work on themselves, but the very fact that they are talking about it is already good, is praiseworthy.”
Putin has been photographed multiple times shirtless while riding a horse, hunting and fishing.
Speaking to Australian reporters in 2018, the judo- and hockey-obsessed Russian leader defended his penchant for topless photo ops, saying that he has “no need to hide.”
With Post wires