Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin share a kiss on a street graffiti wall that has gone viral on social media in Lithuania. The Putin and Trump depiction appears to show concerns over the U.S. White House hopeful’s attitude toward Moscow.
The artwork in the capital Vilnius alludes to a famous 1979 photograph of then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing communist East German president and ally Erich Honecker. The “fraternal kiss” between the two Cold War-era communist leaders was immortalised in a famous piece of graffiti on the Berlin Wall.
“It seems we have a new Cold War, and America may have a president who seeks friendship with Russia,” Dominykas Ceckauskas, who commissioned the giant mural on the outside wall of his burger restaurant, said. “We see many similarities between these two ‘heroes’ (Putin and Trump). They both have huge egos, and it’s amusing to see they are getting along well,” he said.
As Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin share a kiss on a street graffiti wall, relations between Washington and Moscow have been strained for years, Trump has defended Putin, calling him “a powerful leader.” Putin in turn has hailed the “tremendous” Trump as “talented without any doubt.”
For Lithuania and some eastern European nations once behind the Iron Curtain there are also growing concerns about the criticism of NATO by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. The alliance is regarded as a key security guarantee especially in the small Baltic states once under Moscow’s thumb.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said last month that Trump’s comment about an “obsolete NATO” reflects Russia’s view of the Western defence alliance. “Trump has notoriously stated that Putin is a strong leader, and that NATO is obsolete and expensive,” Kestutis Girnius, associate professor of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science in Vilnius, said.
“This graffiti in Vilnius expresses the fear of some Lithuanians that Donald Trump is likely to kowtow to Vladimir Putin and be indifferent to Lithuania’s security concerns,” he said.
Putin and Trump are known for their mutual admiration, with the Russian leader calling Trump “a very colorful person, talented without any doubt” and Trump saying it was “a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”
While As Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin share a kiss on a street graffiti wall, it’s important to remember that Lithuania and other Baltic states once dominated by Moscow during the Soviet-ere have repeatedly expressed concern about Russian foreign policy under Putin.