White thermos mugs, similar to the one used by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, are being sold by hundreds of e-stores in China and are selling out fast, the Global Times reports.
Customers can order the replica via Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao. The website describes it as “Putin’s Simple Single Layer Ceramic Thermal Insulation Cup, Water Cup, Portable Cover Curve, Gift Customization for Men and Women.” The mug with a gold emblem of Russia, featuring a double-headed eagle, is offered for 69.6 Chinese yuan or $11.
One of the promotional slogans said: “A replica of Putin’s mug is on presale, which will be delivered in two weeks.”
An e-store customer service representative told the Global Times they were pre-selling the ceramic mug modeled on the one used by Putin as “high-end” and “good for health.”
“We have received over 100 orders,” he said, adding that the mug is an ideal gift for any friend.
Putin bringing his own mug to a G20 dinner last week and toasting other leaders with it has prompted speculation on social media that perhaps the Russian president was afraid of being poisoned or that he was sipping vodka.
Seated to the left of Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, Putin lifted up his personal white mug during the banquet. US President Donald Trump, seated on the other side of Abe, drank his customary Diet Coke from a wine glass.
The Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov tried to dispel the mystery, telling RIA Novosti that the thermos mug was filled with tea. Putin reportedly is a prolific tea drinker and takes the mug everywhere.
“This is because he is constantly drinking tea from that thermos,” Peskov explained, adding that it is “strange that it was noticed just now.”