Vladimir Putin Too Busy Rearranging His Sock Drawer to Attend the G8

I have to admit, the old KGB hand Vladimir Putin sure plays hardball in matters of diplomacy. Normally when you blow off a major summit (Putin will be sending Dmitri Mevedev in his place), you give more than a ten day’s notice.

Vladimir Putin will miss a planned visit to the US this month for a key global summit and a much-anticipated meeting with President Barack Obama, the Kremlin has confirmed, as the Russian president faced pressure from protests and opposition criticism at home.

The White House announced on Wednesday that Putin was unable to join the other leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations meeting outside Washington on 18-19 May. The Kremlin said Putin needed to finish work setting up his government.

I guess Vlad didn’t know what a mess his sock drawer was in when the US used him as an excuse to move the G8 away from protestors in Chicago to Camp David.

Russian opposition to U.S. and NATO plans for a missile defense shield in Europe was the subtext of a surprise announcement earlier this spring of a change in venue for the G-8 meeting. The summit was long planned to take place adjacent to a larger summit of NATO leaders in Chicago.

Putin let it be known that he did not want to attend the NATO summit, as Russian leaders sometimes do by invitation, or engage NATO leaders on the missile issue, U.S. and other diplomats said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy. The missile defense plan is on the NATO agenda for Chicago, although most of the summit discussions are likely to center on Afghanistan.

The switch to Camp David was partly an attempt by the U.S. to appear welcoming to Putin, so that he could meet quietly with European and other large powers at the dawn of his presidency without the awkward juxtaposition with NATO and the missile shield issue, the diplomats said.

Though a desire to appease Putin was, just like Putin’s excuse about naming a cabinet, just a convenient excuse.

I’ve not yet seen any analysis of Putin’s real reasons for blowing off the G8. But I would guess it has something to do with whatever grand plan the US has that would warrant a pre-summit one-on-one meeting with France’s new President, François Hollande. Furthermore, I suspect Carnegie Moscow Center head Dmitri Trenin is totally missing the point when he suggests Putin should have blown off the G20 rather than the G8.

Other analysts said it was entirely possible that domestic politics had kept Mr Putin in Moscow, and it was not just a fig leaf covering a broader crisis. “Putin has no reason to snub Obama that I can see,” said Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, the thinktank.[snip]

“To me it looks like domestic stuff is more important at the moment,” said Mr Trenin. “Something is going on there, something that does not get leaked to the media, which means that it is serious.”

However, Mr Trenin said it was strange that Mr Putin would be attending the G20 summit next month in Mexico, a less important venue where Russia plays a more modest role.

“G20 is [the] perfect place for Medvedev but instead it’s Putin that is going,” he said.

By blowing off the G8, Putin effectively increases the importance of the G20, and with it the views of the countries that attend the G20 but not the G8–including Russia’s co-BRIC members like China, India, and Brazil–all countries, notably, with which the US has had troubled high level meetings recently.

The rest of the world is getting really tired of US economic bullying. And Vladimir Putin sure has his ways of making that clear.

11 replies
  1. bsbafflesbrains says:

    Is snubbing the President an act of terrorism? Perhaps a drone has Putin’s name on it ? The line that shouldn’t have been crossed is already behind us so he could be on the list now.

  2. jawbone says:

    Hhhmmm–maybe that’s why Diane Sawyer on Monday’s World News labeled Putin as a “strongman” in a recap of a little story about a small boy on a tricycle who was riding it toward a line of Moscow riot police. They were labeled “strongman Putin’s police.”

    I was somewhat astonished that ABC is now styling the Russian president as a “strongman.” Whassup with that?

    Here’s the link for the broadcast from 5/7/12, but it seems ABC changes the links…. It’s about 13 minutes in, but I can’t move forward or backward to double check that. Grrrr. Sucky site.

    Are they doing this at the behest of the administration? Just edtorializing during the news? Or just because there were protests in Moscow?

  3. bsbafflesbrains says:

    @jawbone: Hhhmmmm as well…I noticed Putin described as former KGB multiple times instead of Premier or former President. Could be we have a new member of the axis of evil?

  4. MadDog says:

    I see the Obama Administration is still using George W. Bush’s eyeballs to look into Putin’s soul.

    Gives me the willies!

  5. 4jkb4ia says:

    OK, but Treasury seemed to be putting a very happy face on the meeting with the Chinese, so it was troubled for noneconomic reasons.

  6. 4jkb4ia says:

    ALSO, just from the structure of the G8, the two obvious topics are Europe and growth/austerity or the other countries attacking Putin because of the protests. So Putin is saying that neither of these are his concern and he is willing to tackle growth problems when they really are global growth problems–Europe isn’t the center anymore.

  7. Joegeer says:

    Its about the economy stupid ! Obama sucking up to a hard line KGB agent who now is whipping up the Communist Party and using a willing traitor like Obama to finish us off as the Communist agenda had planned years ago. A President that endorses gay marriage claiming to be a Christan. Homosexual marriage is really pretty friggin sick. It’s about the economy stupid and Obama will do anything to divert the attention away from it. The Hollywood crowd, now their is an upstanding group for an example to our youth. The airways are filled with open gay actions which influence young minds. Sickening and there is a price to pay for this sin. Putin will bend Obama and use him for his reemergence of the Communist Party which will include the former United States. We are done for !

  8. rugger9 says:

    Joegeer, please recheck your fax machine from Luntz and Rove. They’ll be sending you updates on the latest talking points before your “boy’s session” at Brokeback Mountain. After all, the ones that keep getting outed by toe-tapping and rent-boy follies are the good GOP stalwarts, over and over and over. Closeting yourselves does that, y’know.

    Ye gods, what a mouth-breathing poltroon.

    On the subject of Putin, however, I am sure he does nothing without a purpose. And since Shrub was stupid enough to announce a missile shield system and then failed to deliver an operating system [it was really an excuse to shovel taxpayer money to his cronies], I’m sure Pootie’s been working on his own version that we will not find out about until they use it for real. The guy is serious about getting and using power, we need to remember and understand that, and Bu$h gave him the perfect excuse to go away from the Mutually Assured Destruction policy that kept what peace there was in the Cold War. Way to go, Shrub.

    My read on this so-called snub is a testing of the waters to see what we’ll do if provoked. It might be a sign aof how close the Russian defense system is to deployment, as I would expect more “what are you going to do about it” moments as he feels tougher. It is also in line with the policy of tag teaming with the PRC to knock the USA down a peg or two, since Bu$h squandered all of the good will after 9/11/01 with the tough-guy-cowboy attitude of the chickenhawks in the Bu$h WH.

  9. matt carmody says:

    If I was a Russian leader I wouldn’t associate with a country that continually wants to refight the cold war with me as the enemy. As far as Sawyer goes, she’s another Nixon loyalist who has an influential post as a network talking head and some even consider her a liberal, nice act that.

    With Sawyer and Roger Ailes helping to tell the American people what to believe it’s a wonder we aren’t gearing up for a full-scale war with Russia.

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