U.S. President Barack Obama will not attend a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Council (APEC) in Vladivostok later this year in what looks like a tit-for-tat for Russia's President Vladimir Putin's decision to skip a G8 summit in the U.S. Mr. Obama notified the Kremlin that he will miss the summit in September because of his re-election engagements, a Russian diplomat told the Vedomosti daily.
The Kremlin on Wednesday said Mr. Putin had decided to pull out of the G8 summit in Camp David next week because he would be busy finalising his Cabinet.
The absence of the U.S. President from the first-ever APEC summit held in Russia will come as a blow to Moscow, which has touted the meeting as symbolising Russia's new engagement of Asia.
Mr. Putin's excuse in missing the G8 looks less convincing than Mr. Obama's reasons. Formation of the government is the responsibility of the Prime Minister. The APEC summit will be held on September 1 to 8, but Mr. Obama plans to attend the Democratic Party national convention, which opens on September 3 and will formally nominate him as its candidate on September 6.