How Putin was humiliated by Erdogan and other authoritarian leaders at the Uzbekistan summit

Vladimir Putin no longer feels good even among the leaders he considers allies. The summit in Uzbekistan came as a cold shower, just as the Russian president was trying to prove to the whole world that he is not affected by the isolation in which the West placed him after the invasion of Ukraine.

In the last two days, Putin has not been in the foreground as usual. Always one step behind Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Kremlin leader received a slap from him, diplomatic of course, even before they made eye contact.

Image that seems to convey that the Chinese leader (left) is the one who matters at the Uzbekistan summit. Putin was left in the background Photo: Profimedia Images
Image that seems to convey that the Chinese leader (left) is the one who matters at the Uzbekistan summit. Putin was left in the background Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin, left to wait by his Kyrgyz counterpart, Sadîr Japarov Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin and the president of Kyrgyzstan, Sadîr Japarov Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin is standing waiting for the President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin has a bilateral meeting with Recep Erdogan Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin, left to wait by the Prime Minister of India Photo: Profimedia Images
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Putin directly that this is not an era for wars Photo: Profimedia Images
China’s President Xi Jinping in the spotlight at the Uzbekistan summit Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin seems to want to capture the attention of Xi Jinping Photo: Profimedia Images
Xi Jinping, the president of China, did not wear a mask at the summit, despite rumors that he was afraid of COVID Photo: Profimedia Images
The photo of Putin sitting on the couch at a table headed by Erdogan has become the symbol of the wrinkled image of the Kremlin leader at the Uzbekistan summit Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin greets the host, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who allegedly avoided shaking hands with him Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin, kept at a greater distance than the Chinese leader (second from left) Photo: Profimedia Images
As a picture, President Vladimir Putin was put in a position of inferiority at the Uzbekistan summit Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin wipes his hands after planting a tree with his host from Uzbekistan Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin was not at ease at the summit in Uzbekistan Photo: Profimedia Images
Vladimir Putin failed to look like a dominant leader at the summit in Uzbekistan Photo
Vladimir Putin leaves Uzbekistan with a wrinkled image Photo: Profimedia Images

Wrinkled image for Vladimir Putin

The picture from the Uzbekistan summit that made a career, going viral on social networks and in the media, is the one in which Putin was seated on the sofa at a table at the head of which was the dominant throne of Recep Erdogan, the president of Turkey.

Putin was seated off to the side on a couch he shared with his ally in the war against Ukraine, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, and Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon. Putin sits in the middle, between them, in a somewhat awkward position and visibly embarrassed by the situation.

Moreover, immediately next to Erdogan, on the left, sits the president of Azerbaijan, whose country is supported by Turkey in the conflict it has with Armenia, supported by Moscow, on a chair in a position that seems more generous in terms of space.

In this image that has gone viral on social media, you can see how President Erdogan is speaking and everyone is paying attention to what he is saying, and the Turkish leader’s sitting on the chair gives him a higher height than those sitting on the couch.

Also absent from this table was Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was said to actually be the leader at the center of attention at the Uzbekistan summit.

Vladimir Putin, left to wait

The Uzbekistan summit seems to have turned into a contest to defy the Kremlin leader. VladimirR Little bit he was left waiting by two of his counterparts. The Prime Minister of India appeared a few tens of seconds later on Friday at the bilateral meeting, during which Putin had to make various gestures to hide his embarrassment and to dialogue and make signs with the press in the room.

Modi’s gesture comes a day after the Kyrgyz president also made him wait for half a minute ahead of their bilateral meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

This is not the first time that this has happened to Putin during foreign visits. In Tehran in July, Turkish President Recep Erdogan kept the Russian leader waiting for almost a minute before starting talks on Ukrainian grain exports.

All these gestures are deliberate in diplomacy, where everything is set to go clockwork. In addition, some older policies appear to be paid. Putin himself liked to keep his partners waiting.

Moreover, observers noted that the host of the summit, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, reportedly avoided shaking hands with Vladimir Putin when he met him, although he made a number of other gestures that mimicked cordiality.

Statements defying Putin

Beyond the symbolism in terms of image, Vladimir Putin had a difficult few days at the summit in Uzbekistan and in terms of results. Several political leaders have signaled that the Russian leader is on the wrong track by continuing the war in Ukraine. China has made it as clear as possible that it will not send weapons to Russia, while the Indian prime minister has criticized the Kremlin leader in unprecedented terms. Narendra Modi told Putin neither more nor less that this is not an era of war.

“I know that today’s age is not an age of war. I have discussed this issue with you several times on the phone, especially about the fact that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue touch the whole world,” the Indian Prime Minister told him.

The remark visibly angered the Kremlin leader, who showed his displeasure through several restless gestures. However, the Russian president did not express his displeasure and replied that Russia wants to end the invasion of Ukraine as soon as possible, and the blame belongs to Ukraine.

“I know what your position is on the conflict in Ukraine and what your concerns are. I know we share these concerns. We want all this to end as soon as possible, but the leadership of Ukraine refuses to take part in the negotiation process. He says he wants to achieve his military goals on the front. We will keep you informed of everything that happens there,” Vladimir Putin said.

But Vladimir Putin’s final conclusions are very different from what he told Narendra Modi. During the end-of-summit conference in Uzbekistan, the Russian president again threatened Ukraine with an escalation of the war: “Dif the situation continues in this way, our reactions will be much stronger,” the Kremlin leader said.

Xi Jinping, slap for the Kremlin

The tense moments come after, before and throughout the summit, the Russian president received multiple signals that his potential allies did not support him actually too much. Chinese President Xi Jiping said he supports Kazakhstan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The leader from Beijing made it clear that he will not allow Moscow to repeat in Kazakhstan the scenarios of Crimea and Donbas.

It is not the only slap that Xi Jinping gives to the Kremlin. He refused to attend the dinner offered to the heads of state attending the summit in Uzbekistan, which was also attended by Vladimir Putin. The exact reason is not known. Even if some say Xi is afraid of COVID – it was his first exit from the country after three years of the pandemic -, the Chinese leader was seen at the summit without a mask, for example.

In addition, the Chinese president has made it clear that he will not supply Russia with weapons to fight in Ukraine.

And Xi Jinping is not the only leader who has expressed his opposite perspective to Vladimir Putin. Erdogan stood right next to the president of Azerbaijan, whom he supports over Armenia supported by Russia.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, conceived as a counterweight to Western influence, groups China, Russia, four Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), as well as India and Pakistan, which will be joined by Iran as of 2021 observer. Turkey, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Mongolia were among a host of other states invited to the Samarkand summit as partners.

Editor: Luana Pavaluca

The article is in Romanian

Tags: Putin humiliated Erdogan authoritarian leaders Uzbekistan summit

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