Putin says ready for talks on security, NATO concerns
Independent

Vladimir Putin has just held a meeting with his foreign secretary on a table you'd be hard-pressed to fit in most households.

The Russian leader met with Sergei Lavrov on a table so long they probably had to shout weeks after meeting with French leader Emmanuel Macron on a similarly long piece of furniture, reportedly after Macron refused to get Russia's own Covid test.

Meanwhile, in recent weeks, Putin has also hosted Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, at the large table.

After all, Putin is apparently very concerned about his health. It has also been reported that anyone he holds in-person meetings with is required to self-isolate for a week beforehand and that he conducts most of his meetings online.

But this might not be the only reason why he gets the furniture out. Olga Khvostunova, director of the Institute of Modern Russia, a US-based think tank, previously told The Independent that Putin could be using the distance at the table as a power play.

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It’s all about unnerving the opponent – state leaders are not used to being treated this way, so it is often quite effective – and, at the same time, signalling to the supporters that Mr Putin has got the upper hand. It’s what Russians call a ‘subtle trolling’ (tonkiy trolling),” she said last week.

Whatever the reason, it is pretty quirky and has provided some comic relief amid mounting concerns about tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border. Russia has said it is removing some troops but Western leaders such as Joe Biden remain wary of Russia's intentions.

WIth all that in mind, here are the best memes people have brought to the table... about the table:

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