G7 MOCK PUTIN PECS
WAR IN UKRAINE: LEADERS LARK ABOUT AT TOP TALKS » Johnson jokes about ‘showing we’re tougher than Putin’ » Families facing starvation as race on to get grain out
BORIS Johnson and Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau have mocked bare-chested photos of Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin.
The two leaders made the remarks as they met for talks on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Germany.
When they greeted each other in Bavaria, where the temperature topped 28C, Mr Johnson said: “We’ve got to take our jackets off and show our pecs... We have to show that we’re tougher than Putin.”
Mr Trudeau replied “bare-chested horseback ride”, a reference to famous Putin photos from 2009.
But not everyone found the banter amusing, with some saying there is no need to make Putin even more hostile.
Labour MP Chris Bryant, a former Foreign Office minister who chairs the
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia, told the Mirror he thinks Mr Johnson is “slightly deranged”.
He added: “There comes a point at which your narcissism and your hubris are so flagrant you become a national embarrassment.”
Mr Johnson, who had flown eight hours overnight from the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda, and the Canadian prime minister also joked about the relative size of their official planes.
Lib Dem foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran said: “Boris Johnson has yet again proved that he is a national embarrassment who is completely unworthy of representing Britain on the world stage.
“Families are struggling to make ends meet while Johnson jokes around abroad. These are the bizarre ramblings of a man not thinking
straight because the pressure of his failing leadership is getting to him.
“The fun and games are over for Boris Johnson.”
When he wasn’t making jokes, Mr Johnson said world leaders are in a
race against time to get grain out of Ukraine before it rots.
Putin’s invasion is partly to blame for tens of millions of families being hit by soaring food prices, with people in poorer nations facing starvation.
Russia is blocking exports from Ukraine, a country known as Europe’s bread basket. It is said Putin will not consider giving grain-filled ships safe passage from Black Sea ports unless sanctions on Moscow are eased.
Speaking at the summit, the Prime Minister said last night: “Putin’s
Boris Johnson has yet again proved that he is a national embarrassment
actions in Ukraine are creating terrible aftershocks across the world, driving up energy and food prices as millions of people are on the brink of famine.
“Global leaders need to apply their combined economic and political heft to help Ukraine and make life easier for households across the world.
“Nothing should be off the table.” In peacetime, Ukraine supplied 10% of the world’s wheat, up to 17% of the maize and half the sunflower oil. But 25 million tons of corn and wheat are trapped in Ukrainian silos, unable to be exported from southern docks.
The crisis is set to deepen dramatically with next month’s harvest.
Talks at the United Nations in New York are focused on persuading Putin to allow ships to leave Ukraine. But the UK is providing £10million worth of materials and equipment to Ukraine to repair railway tracks to help get grain out by train.
However, different gauges used in neighbouring countries could hamper attempts for a mass export by rail.
Britain is planning to deploy “grain detectives” who will use radioactive isotopes to test crops sold by Russia on world markets to see if they have been plundered from Ukraine.
Moscow has been accused of stealing crops from Ukrainian farms during the war. Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has admitted he is worried about allies’ support for Ukraine waning.
But he added: “The most incredible thing about the way the West has responded to the invasion of Ukraine by Putin has been the unity. “NATO has been solid, the G7 has been solid and we continue to be solid.” Mr Johnson added he would like to invite Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, left, to Britain on a state visit “if he ever becomes free to leave”. Britain will ban imports of Russian gold in the latest bid to cripple Putin’s economy over the war. On the first day of the summit yesterday, the UK, the US, Canada and Japan unveiled plans to block shipments. Gold exports were worth £12.6billion to Moscow last year. The Kremlin’s reliance on cash from shipping gold overseas has increased since Putin’s invasion on February 24.
Officials believe that as London is a major gold trading hub, UK sanctions will have a huge impact on Russia’s ability to pay for the war. Legislation to implement the ban will be introduced in Parliament within weeks.
Other leaders at the summit include US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. The EU is also being represented.
Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie and Mr Macron’s wife Brigitte were among those on a walking tour with former Olympic skiers Christian Neureuther, 73, and his daughter-in-law Miriam, 31, near the Summit venue in Krun.
LAYLA MORAN CRITICISES THE PRIME MINISTER FOR HIS JOKES AT SUMMIT