Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to jokes made by G7 leaders about his numerous shirtless photo-ops — saying they would look “disgusting” if they took topless pictures.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Turkmenistan on Thursday, Putin said, “I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist … but I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.”
He added that, in order to look good, “it’s necessary to stop abusing alcohol and other bad habits, do physical exercise and take part in sports.”
On Sunday, G7 leaders mocked Putin’s tough-guy image, as they arrived for the summit in the German Alps. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked: “Jackets on? Jackets off? Can we take our clothes off?” before adding, “We all have to show that we’re tougher than Putin.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then joked, “We’re going to get the bare-chested horseback riding display.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen jumped in, saying, “Oh yes. Horseback riding is the best.” Johnson added, “We’ve got to show them our pecs.”
The leaders were referencing a series of infamous photoshoots released regularly by the Kremlin in which an often-shirtless Putin fishes, rides on horseback and swims in icy waters.