Vlad the Romancer, “Putin” the Moves on China’s First Lady

This image is no longer available

Call him the Russian Romeo – Vladimir Putin, 62, proved to the world on Monday that he does indeed possess a soft spot. Sure it’s not a very big soft spot, barely visible as he prances around Russia shirtless, or invades neighbouring countries on a whim. But make no mistake – it’s there.

The recently-divorced Russian president proved it at the Beijing-hosted launch of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on Monday evening, which saw a gathering of world leaders that included Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President Barack Obama, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Seated at one long table, Presidents Xi and Obama chatted while Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan, seated next to Putin, exchanged words with the Russian leader.

No one is certain what she said – we can assume it was something along the lines of “Brrrrr….” – but Putin quickly stood and wrapped his coat around her for warmth.

Of course, whether it’s banishing the chilly night air or the basic human rights of his political opponents, Putin’s used to getting what he wants. In this case, however, after a polite acknowledgement of his gesture, Peng removed the Russian leader’s coat and put on a different jacket.

The Chinese government, for their part, decided President Xi doesn’t come off very well in this whole scenario involving another man comforting his shivering wife, and seemingly erased any images and video of the incident from the nation’s media.