US president Joe Biden and Russian premier Vladimir Putin met face-to-face on Wednesday - but the real tension appeared to occur in the media scrum after a photographer refused to move despite being asked repeatedly to get out of the way.
Geneva, Switzerland was under the microscope as the pair had their first in-person meeting of Biden’s presidency, and photographers were clamoring to get the best images of the historic moment.
As Biden arrived on the scene, reporters were shouting out questions such as “What will you consider a win today Mr. President? and “How are you feeling, sir?”
A little after that, both Biden and Putin shook hands as they ignored questions such as “Will you see eye to eye?”
Once inside Villa La Grange for the summit, Biden and Putin sat for another photo op. Biden was sitting upright with his legs crossed while Putin was slouching.
But amid the camera flashes of the two getting ready to have a conversation, drama seemed to ensue as a photographer pushed their way to the front of the scrum, taking pictures and getting into the way of other people’s shots.
At a few points during this whole ordeal, you see another photographer put his hand on the man’s back to try and get him out of the way, saying, “No, no, I can’t see.”
Photographer put his hand on the man’s back to try and get him out of the way,Photo courtesy courtesy of CNN
“Hey, can you move?” said another photographer in the background.
“No, I can’t do that,” the photographer in question said.
Then after asking again for the umpteenth time, a photographer said, “This guy’s got to move.”
Not too long afterwards, the photo op was done, and an aide told the press and the photographer hogging the space in particular that “it’s over” and “Go away!” I’m asking you to go away, please.”
“Go away!” I’m asking you to go away, please.”Photo courtesy of CNN
The photographer was protesting inaudibly, and when the video cut out, he was still taking photos while the aid tried to get the press out of the room.
The day before Biden and Putin’s meetup, Pete Souza, who was a White House Photographer for Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, posted a photo of Reagan’s trip to Moscow in 1988 touring Red Square, which appeared to show a young Putin, who Souza teased could have been sent to spy on the visiting US president.
The photo got a lot of attention back in 2018, but when reposted this week, he included an interesting story to back up the photo.