From Putin to Romney: what Vladimir might have looked like next to Obama – in GIFs

As at most presidents’ summits, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin met and shook hands on the sidelines. It was, however, a very different gathering to the ones Vladimir Putin had in Syria, where it was believed the first such face-to-face meeting was made at his request. On Monday, it was just the two of them, sitting in dark suits, iPads in their hands. As has become customary at such summits, the 18-year-old OBAMA Christmas video was shared on Twitter: smiling Barack Obama doing the goofy man-cry face, then awkwardly praising Hillary Clinton for looking like an international figure. Then Putin left. For now, that is.

Putin returned to the summit on Tuesday, having overruled his own foreign minister and agreed to a second day, even as Ukraine crisis talks were ongoing. Biden was there to soften the tension and get things going. An emoji keyboard on the back of his hat was released, appearing to show a more serious head of state than the one shown during the Moscow summit. The real challenger for the diplomatic summit: a shopping cart with George W Bush on it. There were also odd cardboard fixtures in the background that looked like the dead hand of the former US president if he had ever drank alcohol. “Clearly there was a large one there before they got rid of it,” Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Twitter, linking to a selfie of the two leaders with the cart empty and suggesting it may have been a portent.

Putin is not without his admirers. “My people are with you, your supporters are with me,” he told the US vice-president. “I’m sure you have enough friends too.” As Americans hate the sight of Putin with such popularity, one can only hope it did not cost millions of dollars to send their vice-president of less than 10 years to bully and strongarm their former Cold War adversary.

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