Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama after holding talks on a

variety of contentious issues, at the G20 Summit in Mexico, June 19.



Obama's ‘Hope’ Keeps Putin from ‘Window on Paradise’ (Moskovskij Komsomolets, Russia)


“After two hours of discussion in Mexico with Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama looked exhausted. It was as if he were the one who had plunged into work after a 15-hour flight to a time zone 10-hours different than home. Putin, by contrast, was smiling and looked refreshed. The mood between the two presidents clearly testified to which of the two got the upper hand.”


By Viktoriya Prihodko


Translated By Anastassia Tapsieva


June 19, 2012


Russia - Moskovskij Komsomolets - Original Article (Russian)

Sergei Magnitsky: His death in a Russian prison, after implicating top officials in a complex scheme to defraud the government, is widely regarded as a murder-cover-up in the West. Moscow is warning the if that U.S. Congress passes the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act as punishment, Russia will react in kind against Americans suspected of human rights abuse in places like Guantanamo and Iraq.


RUSSIA TODAY TV: Obama-Putin Poker Faced: Sore points sidestepped at G20, June 19, 00:03:54RealVideo

Los Cabos, Mexico: After two hours of discussion in Mexico with Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama looked exhausted. It was as if he were the one who had plunged into work after a 15-hour flight to a time zone 10-hours different than home. Putin, by contrast, was smiling and looked refreshed. The mood between the two presidents clearly testified to which of the two got the upper hand in the talks.


The meeting was held in a banquet hall: the Pacific Ocean lapped the shore no more than 30 feet away, and the entirety of the Hotel Esperanza (Hope), which housed the American delegation, was filled with the aroma of freshly-caught fish being cooked on the grill. Nevertheless, the two leaders confined themselves to coffee. Even in terms of their appearance, the presidents made no concessions to the resort atmosphere at Los Cabos, where they were attending the G20 summit: both kept their jackets on and their ties knotted. Yet not more than a month ago, Obama spoke on a bench at Camp David with Dmitri Medvedev with no jacket or tie.


Given the backlog of acute issues, there were plenty of reasons to stick to formal attire. Neither Putin nor Obama skirted the theme of the deployment in Eastern Europe of the U.S. anti-missile defense system (Russia continues to insist on written guarantees that the system won’t target it), and they discussed the “Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act,” which has already victimized a number of Russians who have been denied entry into the United States. [See photo box].


“There is complete understanding on both sides that legislative developments surrounding this situation will lead to retaliatory measures,” noted the Russian president's press secretary, Dmitri Peskov. In other words, the Americans have already been shown that if they deny entry visas to 11 Russian officials connected to the Magnitsky case, the denial of entry visas to Russia for 11 members of the U.S. administration, who are connected to cases no less significant, will immediately follow.


The position of the two presidents on the issue of Syria was cemented in their joint statement. “We are united in our belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future,” it states. “…We express full support for the efforts of UN/League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, including moving forward on political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political system that would be implemented by the Syrians themselves in the framework of Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity."


Not a word about the immediate removal of the Bashar al-Assad regime or sanctions against the country - a favorite American talking point. That alone can be regarded as a diplomatic victory for the Russian side.


However, Peskov, Putin’s press secretary, who participated in the talks, insisted that the dialogue was not harsh: “It was constructive and open.” Both sides agreed that “differences of opinion should not be a stumbling block on the path to the development of bilateral relations.” But for some reason, unlike with British Prime Minister David Cameron, there was no exchange of football jokes between Putin and Obama. Or gifts, as with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who brought Putin a kimono of the Japanese Olympic judo team and a portrait of the founder of the sport of judo – and that was after both Noda and Cameron were kept waiting for about an hour at Putin’s hotel, the Las Ventanas al Paraiso (Window to Paradise), because his meeting with Obama ran late.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Putin was also late to the G20 Summit, which was the purpose of his visit to Mexico. He was so late, in fact, that the Summit host, President Felipe Calderón, who greeted all the leaders at the gate, couldn’t stay long enough to greet Putin.



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Nevertheless, Putin's appearance at Los Cabos did not go unnoticed. Prior to meeting Obama, he had time to participate in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit, where leaders of the five countries acknowledged that the eurozone crisis was threatening enough to warrant increasing IMF funding by $430 billion. Russia, for instance, intends to contribute $10 billion dollars, despite holding to its position that increasing liquidity is only a temporary stop-gap measure and not a strategic solution - and despite insisting on strict accountability for every cent invested in the eurozone.




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[Posted by Worldmeets.US June 20, 12:19am]



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