Journalists on Tuesday captured the moment Putin entered the room before the talks in Tehran, predicting that Erdogan would soon follow. But the Turkish president was late, making the Russian president visibly uncomfortable and bravely defying the cameras.
The Guardian, National News, Twitter
With his hands folded in front of him, the usually demure Putin was seen shuffling his feet and sucking his cheeks while waiting for the fiftieth. Finally, Putin dropped his hands to his sides with a hint of annoyance, before Erdogan casually walked out and shook hands with the duo.
“The 50 seconds Erdogan made Putin wait while nervous in front of the cameras says enough about the extent of change since Ukraine,” Joyce Karam, a journalist for The National, said in a tweet.
It was clearly uncharted territory for Putin, who has a reputation for deliberately making world leaders wait hours before scheduled talks begin. So some speculate that Erdogan, in turn, retaliated against the 2020 meeting in Moscow, in which the Turkish leader had to wait more than two minutes before finding something better than sitting down.
Turkish media reported at the time that Erdogan and his entourage were offended when the footage was widely circulated by Russian news channels. This time, the Turkish state channel eagerly broadcast pictures of the “only” Putin.
Putin and Erdogan came to Tehran for talks with their Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi, including on the civil war in Syria. But the two leaders also discussed grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea.
“We have made progress,” said the Russian leader, thanks to Turkish mediation. “Not all problems are resolved yet, but there is movement and that’s a good thing.” Grain exports became a problem due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The attack blocked shipping, raising the risk of a global food crisis.
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