Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a news conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence outside Moscow March 8, 2008.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel put President Vladimir Putin on the spot on Saturday, asking if the former KGB spy had cooked breakfast for his wife Lyudmila to celebrate International Women's Day.
The Russian president began talks with Merkel at his residence just outside Moscow by congratulating her on Women's Day, which is widely celebrated in Russia.
"Have you prepared breakfast for your wife this morning?" Merkel asked with a smile.
Putin smiled awkwardly before taking a deep breath: "I prepared her present and we will have breakfast together."
"Then breakfast means lunch?" Merkel quipped back at a meeting that took place after midday at the Novo-Ogaryovo presidential residence outside Moscow.
"Yes I suppose so. But it is Pancake holiday too ... so we will have fun later today." Putin snapped back.
Women's Day is a serious celebration in Russia, where men are expected to give flowers to their female partners and colleagues and do the house work at home.
Russians are also celebrating the end of winter with Pancake week, a pre-Christian carnival of revelry across Russia.