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Putin to Skip G8

Published: May 10, 2012 (Issue # 1707)

  • Putin said he will not attend the G8 summit at Camp David, but will send Medvedev instead
    Photo: / Vedomosti

President Vladimir Putin will not participate in the G8 summit to be held at Camp David later this month, choosing to send newly-minted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his stead.

Putin gave Obama the news by telephone, the White House said in a statement, RIA-Novosti reported.

"Noting his responsibilities to finalize cabinet appointments in the new Russian government, President Putin expressed his regret that he would be unable to attend the G-8 Summit at Camp David on May 18-19," the statement said.

It said Obama "expressed his understanding of President Putin's decision" and "welcomed" Medvedev's participation.

During the telephone call, the two leaders also affirmed a commitment to continue the "reset" in relations and continue high-level dialogue on key issues.

The White House said Putin and Obama would meet next month at the G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The decision comes after an election campaign season in which Putin frequently used anti-American rhetoric, calling into question how the new presidential administration will proceed.

The G8 summit was earlier moved to Camp David from Chicago, a move seen as a goodwill gesture made to Putin so that he would not need to ostentatiously leave the city to avoid attending the NATO conference that was to follow. White House officials denied the speculation.

"The president supported moving the summit to Camp David because he preferred having a more relaxed atmosphere to facilitate a candid discussion among world leaders," Benjamin Rhodes, the director for strategic communications at the National Security Council said.



Thursday, Aug. 28

Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.

Friday, Aug. 29

Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.

Saturday, Aug. 30

Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).

Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.

Sunday, Aug. 31

The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.

Monday, Sept. 1

Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.

Tuesday, Sept. 2

Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.

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