WASHINGTON (AP) — Among Vladimir Putin's first acts now that he's back in Russia's top job was to stand up to President Barack Obama.
Both nations insist Putin's no-show at a high-profile economic gathering tailored for his attendance is not a snub. But the decision to skip next week's G-8 meeting in the United States and a much-anticipated Oval Office meeting with Obama sets a sour tone for the next four years.
If Obama wins re-election he will have Putin as a sometime partner and sometime adversary through the end of his presidency. Meanwhile, Republican Mitt Romney has called Russia an "enemy."
Putin has signaled that he will hold off on any major new cooperation with the United States until he knows who will be president.