Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation where world leaders met in Bejing, China there was a great deal of visible negative
tension between the duo. Putin reached out to pat Obama on the back but the gesture was awkward and insincere. It
indicated a power play where Putin attempted to display that he was in control and more in charge by reaching out and
touching Obama. You can see how insincere the gesture is based on Putin’s facial language. Although he tries to smile,
Putin leaks out an annoyed and tense facial expression.
Putin does not have a genuine smile with cheeks raised. Instead his lips are pursed and his eyes squint and don’t reflect
pleasantness or happiness around Obama. The key element is that Putin turns away as he reaches out for Obama and
doesn’t even look at him.
Obama cannot stand Putin as his body stiffens up as you can see. He cannot bear to look at Putin ot to aknowlege this
gesture, which Obama clearly knows is not genuine. He looks askance at Putin and does not smile or acknowledge him in
a positive way. Obama’s mouth is slightly open which indicates that there is an element of surprise. In essence, He is
surprised that Putin actually had the audacity to reach out and touch him. He does not lean towards Putin which further
indicates his disdain.
It was reported that throughout their meeting, Obama was reticent and continued to avoid eye contact with Putin, thereby
wearing his true feelings on his face.