Obama skips APEC summit in Russia in favor of Democratic convention
US President Barack Obama will not attend the APEC summit in Vladivostok in September, which comes soon after the Democratic presidential nominating convention, the White House said Monday.
The announcement by White House spokesman Jay Carney came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would skip this week’s G8 summit at the US president’s retreat at Camp David, as he finalizes his cabinet.
Carney delivered the news to the press pool traveling with Obama in New York.
Obama had not been expected to travel to Russia for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, as it takes place soon after the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the week of September 3.
US officials said the Russian side had been understanding about Obama’s decision and appreciated the scheduling difficulties at a moment when his campaign for reelection will hit top gear.
White House officials have also expressed understanding over Putin’s decision not to travel to the G8 summit so soon after his inauguration last week.
Both sides have noted that Obama and Putin will have their first meeting since the Russian leader returned to the presidency next month on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Mexico.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was until last week president of Russia, and engineered the “reset” of relations between Moscow and the Kremlin, will attend the G8 summit in Putin’s place.
[US President Barack Obama, pictured here, will not attend the APEC summit in Vladivostok in September. AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan]