Russia’s president Vladimir Putin was left awkwardly standing in a room in front of a throng of reporters while waiting to meet his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, local media reported.
Footage taken ahead of the meeting on Tuesday shows Putin fidgeting, shifting his weight and pulling a series of uncomfortable faces in front of cameras for nearly a minute before he is finally greeted by Erdogan, The Guardian reported.
It was unfamiliar terrain for the Russian leader who has developed a reputation for keeping world leaders waiting, on purpose, sometimes for hours after scheduled talks were due to begin. Some speculated it may have been payback for a 2020 meeting in Moscow that saw Erdogan wait so long to enter the meeting room that he took a seat, The Guardian reported.
Reporters captured the moment Putin strode into the room on Tuesday in the expectation Erdogan would swiftly follow suit. Instead, he was left standing amid the sound of camera shutters.
With his hands clasped in front of him, the usually stoic Russian leader was seen shuffling his feet and sucking his cheeks during the 50-second wait. Finally, Putin let his hands fall by his sides with a hint of exasperation as Erdogan casually emerged and the pair shook hands.
“Those 50 seconds that Erdogan made Putin wait, looking frazzled in front of cameras say plenty of how much has changed after Ukraine,” Joyce Karam, senior correspondent at Middle Eastern media organisation National News, said in a Twitter post.
Karam called the exchange “sweet payback” for Erdogan after Putin left the Turkish leader waiting for around two minutes before a meeting in 2020. Turkish media reported at the time that Erdogan and his entourage were left humiliated after they were forced to wait outside in an antechamber in footage shared widely by Russian news outlets, The Guardian reported.