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    Putin giving flowers to the French First Lady, May 24, 2018

    Bouquet Diplomacy: Putin Wows Brigitte Macron, and Internet, With Fresh Flowers

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    Seemingly ignoring recent German media criticism that his bouquet for German Chancellor Angela Merkel was an "insulting" act of "macho dominance," Russian President Vladimir Putin did it again, this time giving Emmanuel Macron's better half an arrangement of pink and yellow flowers.

    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.

    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."

    If that's the case, the Russian president can be said to have a history of "dissing" his guests with bouquets going back nearly two decades. Since he became Russia's president in 2000 and again in 2012, Putin has showered numerous women, as well as a few men, with flowers as a sign of his respect. 

    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
      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.
      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.
      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
      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.
      Vladimir Putin, his wife Lyudmila, Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.
      © Sputnik / Сергей Гунеев
    • Vladimir Putin, Lyudmila Putin, George W. Bush and Laura Bush
      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.
      Vladimir Putin presents Patriarch Alexy II with a bouquet of flowers for his birthday.
      © Sputnik / Дмитрий Астахов
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    © Sputnik / Sergey Guneev
    Putin gives Chancellor Merkel flowers, May 21, 2018

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    Tags:
    flowers, diplomacy, Brigitte Macron, Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, Russia, Saint Petersburg, France
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