The Russian president's diplomatic gesture, made ahead of talks with his French counterpart in St. Petersburg on Thursday, prompted Twitter users still recovering from Bild's claim that Putin's flowers have a "hidden meaning" to swoon anew.
Putin shakes Macron's hand and gives a bouquet to his wife, then starts showing them around the Constantine palace in Petersburg. Big image boost for Putin on the day of the economic forum pic.twitter.com/pR0PQcUa53— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) 24 мая 2018 г.
Last week, Bild wrote a piece suggesting that while Putin's flowers for Chancellor Merkel may have looked "like a courtesy…in fact [they were] an affront."
In addition to numerous bouquets for Chancellor Merkel, Putin has also given flowers to Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Austrian diplomat Ursula Plassnik, and the wives of numerous statesmen, from Cherie Blair to Laura Bush to Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan. In 2007, he even gave a boquet to Patriarch Alexy II on the occasion of his 78th birthday.
- Putin gives Chancellor Merkel flowers, May 21, 2018© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev
- President Putin giving Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic a bouquet during her visit to Russia, October 2017.© Sputnik / Алексей Дружинин
- President Putin and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, June 2001.© Sputnik / Владимир Родионов
- Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik (left) holds her sunflower bouquet, with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila walking alongside her after meeting at Vienna's airport© Sputnik / Dmitry Astakhov
- Vladimir Putin, his wife Lyudmila, Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.© Sputnik / Сергей Гунеев
- Vladimir Putin, Lyudmila Putin, George W. Bush and Laura Bush© Sputnik / Сергей Гунеев
- Vladimir Putin presents Patriarch Alexy II with a bouquet of flowers for his birthday.© Sputnik / Дмитрий Астахов