"Does Modi do Yoga?" Asks Russian President Putin

Putin was talking to journalists at the end of the second day of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum when he made the remark.

Published: 20th June 2015 06:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2015 06:35 PM   |  A+A-

Russia Economic Forum_Madh

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Investment Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia.

ST PETERSBURG: Does the man who started the latest yoga fad across the country, and was instrumental in getting June 21 recognised as International Yoga Day, himself practice it?

That’s what Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to know when he was informed that the Indian Prime Minister had started a Ministry for Yoga.

“Does Modi do yoga?” Putin asked, when an aide told him that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had started a Ministry of Yoga.

He was incredulous that such a ministry could be set up, and then smilingly asked why anyone would do that. He was curious to know if the man who wants to spread yoga, practice it. He was told that it was likely, though he had not been publicly seen to do it. “Really?” he asked, with a smile.
“He is a good man, and a personal friend,” Putin said in reply to a question from journalists who met him at midnight at the end of the second day of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum here.

In response to a question, that he and Modi were both being seen as “tough leaders”, Putin said it was not true. 

“I am not tough. I am always willing to compromise,” adding that often the other side took a tough stand. “They say they have two opinions. One, that they are right. And the second, that I am wrong,” Putin said at his official residence in the city.


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