As we have seen before, here, here, here, here, and here, the way to Vladimir Putin’s heart is through animals, especially dogs. While some may see him as a ruthless leader, at The Poodle (and dog) blog, we know at heart he is a Poodle cuddler.
To show their gratitude for Russia’s assistance after last year’s earthquake and to pave the way for further economic ties, a Japanese official sent Yuma, a three-month-old Akita, as a present to Putin.
Norihisa Satake, governor of the Akita prefecture where the breed originated, sent the dog saying:
I hope that this gift will make a contribution to the deepening of mutual understanding and the further development of relations between Japan and Russia…despite the fact that there are a number of unresolved issues between the two countries.
Diplomacy by dog. Don’t you love it?
Yuma was originally scheduled to be shipped in cargo, but airline officials quickly upgraded her to first class for reasons that should be readily apparent and she was given VIP treatment on her arrival in Moscow. She was a good puppy and got along with everyone.
Ever gracious, Putin expressed gratitude to the governor at a meeting with Japanese Foreign minister and offered his own gift in return.
"I was told that he is a cat person. I will in return send him a Siberian cat, a bigger one,” Putin said.