Mon, Jul 13, 2009 - Page 15 News List

Putin follows Obama talks with ‘biker summit’ 普廷會歐巴瑪後參訪重機俱樂部

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Having started the morning with two hours of crucial talks with US President Barack Obama, some might have expected Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to have spent the rest of the day in the office.

But not so for the increasingly multi-tasking Russian strongman, who spent the afternoon in casual dress visiting a Moscow motorbike club known as the “Night Wolves,” television pictures showed.

Perhaps the transformation of Putin — whose varied activities over the last months have ranged from scolding oligarchs to singing Soviet-era songs at a school to touring a supermarket — should be no surprise by now.

But still, there was a world of difference between the besuited premier who met Obama for sensitive talks over a working breakfast and the black-clad bike enthusiast who surfaced later at the motorbike club.

Putin was received by a giant pony-tailed Russian biker named Alexander Zaldostanov, who answers to the name of “the surgeon” and is reportedly a legend in Russian biking circles.

The prime minister admitted a rare mishap when he said he recently got on a motorbike “but ended up doing a wheelie and going into another car. I let the clutch go too much.”

“I hope that doesn’t put you off, it would be a shame if you gave up the motorbike and left it in a garage,” boomed “the surgeon,” towering over the diminutive Putin but reassuring him that this was a common mistake.

The biking enthusiasts were about to set off for a major bike festival in the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea that will be dedicated to Russia’s Crimea-based Black Sea fleet and the victory over Nazi Germany. (AFP)

俄羅斯總理弗拉基米爾.普廷一早與美國總統巴拉克.歐巴瑪關鍵會談了兩小時後,有些人可能以為普廷接下來的時間會留在辦公室裡。

但這位愈發多才多藝的俄國強人可沒有這樣安排,電視畫面顯示,他下午穿著休閒服出現在莫斯科的「夜狼」重機俱樂部。

也許普廷的轉變不足為奇,他過去幾個月來參與了各式各樣的活動,從打擊寡頭財閥、到學校高唱蘇聯時期歌謠,到超級市場巡視。

然而,這位早餐會上穿著西裝和歐巴瑪總統討論敏感議題的總理,稍晚竟搖身變成重機愛好者,穿著一襲黑色勁裝出現在重機俱樂部。

接待普廷的是一位綁著馬尾的高大俄國騎士,名叫亞歷山大.扎爾多斯坦諾夫,但大家都稱呼他「外科醫生」,據說他是俄國重機圈中的傳奇人物。

普廷自爆他最近騎車時發生了一場罕見的意外,「我前輪離地撞上另一輛車。我踩檔踩過頭了。」

外科醫生俯視著身材嬌小的普廷,用低沉的嗓音說:「我希望你不會因此打退堂鼓,如果你就此放棄、把摩托車停在車庫裡,就太可惜了。」他並保證這是個一般的意外。

這群重機愛好者正準備啟程前往烏克蘭黑海地區的克里米亞半島,參加一場大型摩托車慶典,這場慶典是要向駐紮在該地的俄國黑海艦隊,及其擊敗納粹德軍的勝利致意。(法新社╱翻譯:袁星塵)

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