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Russia president not in G-8 summit

Newly-elected Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be attending the G-8 Summit scheduled later this month in Camp David. Former president Dmitry Medvedev, who was nominated Prime Minister two days back, is proposed to attend the Summit.

The Russian President, who was scheduled to meet the US President, Barack Obama, told the latter during a telephonic conversation on Wednesday that he needed time to finish work setting up his new cabinet.

'Noting his responsibilities to finalise Cabinet appointments in the new Russian government, President Putin expressed his regret that he would be unable to attend the G8 Summit at Camp David on 18-19 May,' the White House said in a statement.

Obama expressed his understanding of Putin's decision and welcomed the participation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the G8 Summit. Instead the two leaders would be meeting on the margins of the June 18-19, G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.

'The two Presidents reiterated their interest in the sustained high-level dialogue that has characterised the re-set of relations, and the substantial progress of the last three years on issues like nuclear security and non-proliferation, Afghanistan, the WTO, and increased trade and commercial ties,' the White House said after the Obama-Putin teleconference.
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