Putin and Medvedev Tuck Into Barbecue as Russia Enters Recession

Putin Pumps Iron as Russian Economy Weakens
  • Kremlin photos show two leaders enjoying workout together
  • President, prime minister also attend martial arts tournament

President Vladimir Putin shared a barbecue breakfast with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as a shrinking Russian economy and the rout in emerging market currencies heaps pressure on the latter’s government.

The two men worked out together before dining on grilled meats at Putin’s Black Sea residence near Sochi, according to a statement on the Kremlin’s website, which also published pictures of the Russian leaders in athletic outfits. In one photo, Putin grips the handlebars of a dual pulley, while another shows Medvedev on an exercise bike.
While the Kremlin statement doesn’t indicate when the meeting took place, the show of solidarity comes as Russia entered its first recession in six years. The government on Aug. 25 said gross domestic product will fall 3.3 percent in this year, even as economists predict an even deeper contraction amid the renewed plunge in oil prices and sanctions over Ukraine.

Putin, 62, and Medvedev, also watched a tournament of sambo, a Russian martial art, in Sochi, according to a Kremlin statement released Saturday. The Russian team won the top prize in the competition, beating athletes from countries including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, the Kremlin said.

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