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Putin's absence from G8 summit not "snub": White House

(Xinhua)

08:13, May 11, 2012

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The White House said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to skip the Group of Eight summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama on May 18- 19 came as no surprise and no "snub."

"It was not a surprise, and it does not at all feel like a snub, " White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Seattle in Washington state.

"We're not disappointed," he stated. "It was something we understood and understand. And again, the president will be meeting with President Putin in one month, which is not much time at all."

Putin, who took office on Monday, excused himself on his " responsibilities" to finalize the cabinet appointments in his Wednesday phone talk with Obama. Instead, he decided to send his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to attend the summit to be held in the Camp David presidential retreat in the state of Maryland.

The two presidents agreed to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit to be held in late June in Mexico, and Carney said Obama " looks forward to that meeting."

Putin originally planned to attend the summit. His about-face casts a shadow over the future of U.S.-Russian relations, as Putin has often been critical of Washington and just started his third term as Russian president.

Despite the progress in their reset of relations since Obama took office in January 2009, Washington and Moscow remain at loggerheads over a number of issues, including NATO's planned deployment of the missile defense system in Europe.

Moscow has voiced strong opposition but failed to obtain legally binding guarantees from Washington and NATO that the system does not target Russia.

While Medvedev, in his capacity as Russian president, attended the Russia-NATO Council summit when the NATO leaders last met in November 2010 in Lisbon, Portugal, his country will have no representatives on May 20-21 when NATO leaders meet again in Chicago.

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wende at 2012-05-1271.251.45.*
China needs leaders like Putin or even Mao who are not afraid to say what they mean and mean what they say. In international arena, the timid ones are eaten alive.
  

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