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Obama Arrives In Russia

President Barack Obama has arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia, for meetings with world leaders at the Group of 20 summit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands during an official welcome of G20 heads of state and government
Russian President Vladimir Putin stands during an official welcome of G20 heads of state and government

Obama arrived this morning from Sweden, the first stop on his three-day overseas trip. The Stockholm stop was added after Obama canceled plans to hold talks ahead of the G-20 with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in retaliation for Russia granting asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

The White House says Obama and Putin will not hold formal one-on-one talks on the sidelines of the summit.

The economy-focused summit is expected to be overshadowed by the prospect of a U.S.-led strike against Syria. Obama is seeking to rally support from international leaders for taking military action to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack.

With smiles, Obama, Putin greet each other

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed President Barack Obama with a smile and a handshake to the Group of 20 summit, in one of the most closely watched greetings of international diplomacy.

The 15-second exchange at the entrance to St. Petersburg’s splendid Constantine Palace drew widespread media attention as a potential telltale sign of relations between the United States and Russia.

The exchange was their only planned one-on-one appearance at the summit in the midst of tensions between the two leaders over Syria and Russia’s grant of asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

As Obama shook hands and smiled broadly, he thanked his host and nodded toward the palace pronouncing it, quote, “beautiful.”

Obama arrived in his armored limousine, unlike other summit leaders who rode in G-20 Mercedes cars.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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