Wed, September 05, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific > APEC 2012 in Russia

Obama's absence at APEC summit triggers unfit reset in U.S.-Russia ties

2012-09-05 05:57:19 GMT2012-09-05 13:57:19(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

VLADIVOSTOK, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- As U.S. President Barack Obama has decided to dodge the upcoming APEC summit, people from around the world, the Pacific rim in particular, are witnessing a mal-functioned reset of the relationship between such world powers as the U.S. and Russia.

The push-button to initiate the reset was done in 2009 by Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the London G20 Summit. But the resetting process since then has not been faring well. The mis-match culminated this year with the presidential elections first in Russia and now in the United States.

Back then, Vladimir Putin got re-elected to the Russian presidency for a third non-consecutive term for six years to come. And the new president skipped the G8 Summit at Camp David in the United States, citing urgent domestic issues to deal with back home, but sent his prime minister to the summit.

And now, Obama got stuck in a tit-for-tat presidential race with Republican Mitt Romney and has decided to skip the informal APEC economic leaders' meeting to be held in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on Sept. 8-9.

Pundits and laymen alike have bogged down into a mechanical and mental fear that even a change at the White House after Nov. 11 would probably not be able to improve the relationship between the two giants, as the Americans, among the founders of the APEC forum, decided on the absence of both their president and vice president at this year's summit.

To sit up alongside APEC leaders will only be U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has just skipped the regular APEC ministerial meeting prior to the summit by availing herself to a pre-summit visit to Asia.

The last time an American president skipped an APEC summit was in 1998 when sitting vice president Al Gore substituted Bill Clinton at the annual gatherings.

To pundits and laymen alike, the long announced reset would demand efforts from both sides to help match up the compatibility between the U.S.-Russia interaction before people can seriously hope to see the re-start of their relationship.

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