French President Emmanuel Macron and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy met in Kiev.
The awkward photo of Macron and Zelenskyy has become an instant internet meme
The photo shows that Zelenskyy does not seem to answer Macron’s apparently enthusiastic hug.
French President Emmanuel Macron dives in for a warm hug, but his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy seems less enthusiastic.
This is what it looks like in a photo of the two leaders, which has since become an instant internet meme.
AFP photographer Ludovic Marin, who took the photo in Kiev last week, said Macron said something in Zelenskyy’s ear at the time. The two had just concluded a joint press conference with other European Union leaders.
“Why is Zelensky looking at us? I don’t know,” Marin said in the photo, per AFP. “It’s true that there is a difference in the way they look, which is very noticeable.”
Social media were quick with their jokes about the seemingly awkward moment.
Portraying Macron’s words, Tanya Kozyreva, a journalist living in Ukraine, tweeted: “Talk to him means nothing, I’ve always loved you.” Her joke referred to Macron’s regular telephone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Your face when he tells you “I talk to him means nothing, I’ve always loved you” pic.twitter.com/1kqlerhOMh
— Tanya Kozyreva (@TanyaKozyreva) June 16, 2022
“Find someone who looks at you the way Macron looks at Zelenskyy,” wrote another Twitter user.
Find someone who looks at you like Macron looks at Zelenskyy pic.twitter.com/RFYUPL2rRQ
— Maxim Greenberg (@maxvcg) June 16, 2022
“Now I understand why Pres. Putin has such a long table,” another person tweeted, following photos of Putin and Macron sitting on either side of a 10-foot-long table at a February rally in Moscow.
Maria Zakharova commented on the joint photo of Elensky and Macron.
— Jacque Line (@MissJacque_line) June 17, 2022
The photo incident was not the first time the internet has been intrigued by Macron’s interactions with other foreign leaders.
In 2017, the internet went wild with a handshake that Macron shared with then-President Donald Trump. The following year, Macron reportedly shook Trump’s hand so firmly that it left a mark on his hand.
@ Insider’s Waiyee Yip