It was a barmy day in the Russian capital, when President Vladimir Putin escorted his visiting Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan around the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon.
After urgent talks on the situation in Syria’s Idlib – where Russia and Turkey are supporting opposing sides – it seemed like a good time to cool down tensions over an ice-cream.
Putin escorted Erdogan to an ice-cream kiosk and inspected their wares.
“What types of ice-cream do you?” Putin asked the vendor?
“We have a pretty big selection… Plombir or ice-cream in a cone, chocolate, creamy and pistachio flavour,” the vendor responded.
“Which one would you like?” Putin asked the visitor.
“Do you have a strawberry or vanilla ice-cream,” Erdogan asks.
“Chocolate or creamy?” says the vendor.
“Give me both,” Putin responds smirking.
Then things get a little awkward…
“Will pay you for me too?” Erdogan asks Putin.
“Yes, it’s on me, of course. You are my guests aren’t you?” Putin responds, speaking via an interpreter.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) August 27, 2019
Paying the 210 roubles ($3.20) bill, Putin then tells the vendor to give the change to Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov who is accompanying him “for the development of aviation”.
“Thank you for your generosity,” Manturov responds.
“Do you have a spoon?” Erdogan asks Putin.
“No you should bite it,” Putin instructs who then tells the vendor he will take the rest of the ice-creams for the entourage.
In addition to talks on Idlib, Putin was keen to show Erdogan the latest Russian military hardware on show.
Erdogan has already ordered the Russian S-400 missile system, angering the US which responded by kicking Ankara off the F-35 fighter jet programme.
With Erdogan possibly looking at a replacement jet, he asks Putin whether the Russian Su-57 is for sale.
“Yes you can buy it,” Putin responds with a giggle.