Aboard Air Force One: Putting a confirmation stamp on the reports doing the rounds, the White House on Monday said that US President Barack Obama won't attend a major summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Russia.
White House press secretary Jay Carney made official on Monday what had been assumed for months.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is scheduled to be held on September 01-08. Obama will, however, be busy in re-election campaigns. He will formally accept the nomination for re-election at the Democratic Party national convention in North Carolina on September 06.
Both the United States and Russia deny there is any tit-for-tat involved, since earlier Russia President Vladimir Putin decided to skip a planned high-profile visit to the United States scheduled for this weekend by saying he needs to finish setting up his new government.
Carney said the US President was not offended by Putin's decision to skip the Group of Eight summit at Camp David, Maryland.
"It was not a surprise, and it does not at all feel like a snub. It was something we understood and understand," Carney told reporters.
But there has been speculation in Russia that Putin did not want to appear conciliatory by accepting Obama's invitation now because it was assumed Obama would skip the meeting Putin will host later in the year.
(With Agency’s inputs)
First Published: Monday, May 14, 2012, 22:38