Instead, commentators in many countries pointed out the many occasions in the past when Putin turned up late, including most recently at the session in Paris on the centenary of the end of World War I, the Helsinki summit, and the record he set in making Chancellor Merkel of Germany wait four hours and 15 minutes.
Vostretsova says that she calculates that Putin on average makes foreign leaders wait 78 minutes after the time scheduled for their sessions with him. The reasons this graduate of the Leningrad yards ignores “the elementary rules of politeness and international etiquette” are obvious, she continues.
Being late is designed to “show the counterpart who is dictating the conditions of the talks, a purely ‘Chekist’ tactic of manipulating the latter even before the start of the talks,” to make the interlocutor nervous and put him off his game, and to disrupt any plans the latter had had for the talks.
Finally, in the person of the Singapore prime minister, someone has responded correctly to Putin’s boorishness. Who will be next?