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Western leaders pledge action on Russia: Do we believe them?

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29.06.2022

Katya Adler
Europe editor
@BBCkatyaadleron Twitter

"Show them our pecs!"

Boris Johnson's quip calling on fellow leaders of the world's seven richest countries - the G7 - plus the European Union, to show some serious muscle has become the stand-out moment of their meeting in a luxury German hotel.

The UK prime minister was clearly mocking Russia's Vladimir Putin, who is famously fond of bare-back horse riding for the cameras.

But is this a time to joke?

Canada's prime minister and the EU Commission Chief whole-heartedly joined in the ha-ha moment.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, is stepping up its deadly onslaught in Ukraine. A world food crisis is spreading as a result of Russia's blockade on Ukrainian grain, which is desperately needed in Africa and the Middle East. Food and fuel prices are spiralling across Europe too.

European economies and families are increasingly hard-hit.

But Mr Johnson is also right. Now is the time that Western leaders and their allies must make a serious impact if they are to counter Russian aggression and its fair-weather ally China in any meaningful way.

The increasingly anxious and beleaguered voters of these G7 countries and their allies may find the joking around and posing for awkward photographs easier to accept - even welcome - if they result in concrete action.

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We're now mid-way through a week of high-level meetings.

EU leaders gathered in........

© BBC


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