World & Nation

Royalty, the pope and now Trump — Putin makes everyone wait

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin
President Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday.
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

Famous for his tardiness at official talks, President Vladimir Putin did it again Monday — to U.S. President Trump.

Putin long has sought to meet with Trump, but the Russian leader was 35 minutes late to arrive at their closely watched summit in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

The delay followed a long tradition set since Putin’s first election in 2000.

Famous victims of his lack of punctuality included Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Francis, among many others.


In 2014, he was hours late for a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after his previous stop in Serbia lasted longer than usual, involving a protracted military parade.

Some Kremlin watchers saw Putin’s lack of punctuality as a deliberate tactic of trying to throw his vis-a-vis off balance, but others pointed out that it appears to be more of a personal trait than a well-calculated strategy.

Putin is also chronically late for official events in Moscow, often because he lets preceding meetings run longer than expected.

He often holds meetings in late evenings and starts his days relatively late.


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