Putin’s ‘giant table’ turned meme has already received from premiers to football players

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Putin’s ‘giant table’ turned meme has already received from premiers to football players

French President Emmanuel Macron went to Russia on a diplomatic mission to try to lower the temperature of the conflict in Ukraine, but even amidst the tension, it was a detail about the atmosphere of the meeting between heads of state that ended up attracting attention: the size of the table at which Vladimir Putin sat with the guest.

Five meters of a white table, with three pillars adorned as a foot, and a solitary arrangement of flowers in the center, separated the two leaders. The separation took on even more anecdotal airs this Tuesday (8), when it was possible to compare it with Macron’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to a small round piece of furniture.

Macron’s two tables

The French president was received at a table of about 5 meters by Putin and in a small round piece by Zelensky – Thibault Camus/AFP and Sputnik/AFP

The distance between Putin and the Frenchman has led to speculation that the Russian may have wanted to show some form of power. The pandemic, however, could also be a more trivial motive than geopolitical symbology. “I don’t think it’s intentional, to intimidate. He’s already done that with other leaders,” says Angelo Segrillo, a professor of history at USP who specializes in Russia.

He highlights the weight that the news of a foreign leader being infected with Covid would have during a diplomatic visit, which requires extra precautions – at the press conference the two also kept a certain distance in their parlors.

This year, Putin has already used the mobile, with the same disposition, on visits by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi — on both occasions, however, there were interpreters sitting next to the leaders.

With the president of Iran, on January 19, Putin talked about strengthening ties between the countries and heard about a subject that perhaps even the table is already familiar with: NATO (Western military alliance). “NATO infiltration under any guise in the Caucasus and Central Asia will threaten the common interests of independent countries,” Raisi said of the meeting, according to Al Jazeera.

With the leader of Hungary, on February 1, the meeting revolved around the import of gas by Budapest — in addition, of course, to the same alliance with the West. “I was convinced today that existing differences in positions can be bridged, and it is possible to sign an agreement that would guarantee peace, security in Russia and also be acceptable to NATO members.”

There are older records of Putin receiving from chancellors to football players in the room with sumptuous chandeliers, bronze statues, floral carpet and long curtains – which have been changed since then.

In July 2018, for example, the Russian president received stars from his national team in the midst of the World Cup. The previous year, the table was the center of the meeting between Putin and executives from the Vienna-based oil and gas company OMV.

Between 2017 and 2018, meetings were also held with former regional leaders, presidential candidates and political figures such as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and the then Secretary of State. US National Security, John Bolton.

The mood, however, was different. They were face to face, but on the side closest to the table, which sometimes had 14 people around it in these meetings – which took place before the pandemic.

Demonstration of power or not, Putin’s choice at a time when the eyes of the world have turned to his meeting with Macron has generated memes on the internet.

There were those who made an animation as if the sumptuous piece were a seesaw.

Another user posted an intervention in a video as if Macron had needed a megaphone to talk to Putin.

This Russian user, in turn, gathered four montages that circulated on social networks, transforming the table into a badminton court and an ice skating rink and placing the Holy Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci and the former candidate between the participants. to the Bernie Sanders presidency, on Joe Biden’s inauguration day.

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