Putin’s Ice Cream Treat With Erdogan Raises Suspicions Around Familiar Faces
Aug. 28, 2019
President Vladimir Putin treated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other politicians to some local ice cream as the two leaders attended the MAKS-2019 air show in the Moscow region on Tuesday.
Asked if he would pay for Erdogan’s frozen snack, Putin said: “Of course I will. You are my guest.”
It wasn’t long before online observers noticed that the woman serving ice cream to the two leaders looked oddly familiar.
Russia’s leader has apparently purchased ice cream from the same saleswoman at previous MAKS shows throughout the years. She can also be seen selling ice cream to Putin in a 2017 video published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid.
The woman’s repeat appearance is part of a wider trend that media and bloggershave pointed out. Putin is often surrounded by familiar faces during his public appearances, they have said, including fishing trips in the Novgorod region and Christmas church services.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the claims Wednesday, saying “I don’t even know if this is the same saleswoman.”
“This is not a question for us, as they say,” the RBC news website quoted him as saying. He added that it was “obvious” that the same companies work at the air show each year.
Earlier in the day, Putin and Erdogan had inspected Russia’s new Su-57 fighter jet and walked around the air show exhibition.
Over 800 businesses from foreign countries are taking part in the MAKS-2019 event, which Russia hopes will shore up sales of Russian-made aircraft.
The two leaders examined various Russian aircraft including the MC-21 passenger plane, Mi-38 helicopter and Be-200 seaplane, listening to the explanations of experts and military officials on their characteristics.
Last month, Turkey received its first shipment of S-400 defense systems from Russia and said a second shipment would arrive in Ankara next year. The move prompted Washington to begin formally removing Ankara from an F-35 program in which Turkey was both customer and producer.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.
(c) MOSCOW TIMES 2019