Putin Sets Uncompromising Tone Ahead of G-20 Summit

World

It was not the most diplomatic way to start a summit of world leaders. On Sept. 4, the day before Russian President Vladimir Putin begins hosting the G-20 summit in his hometown of St. Petersburg, he accused the Obama Administration of lying to Congress, and said U.S. lawmakers were being suckered into approving a military strike against Syria. “We talk with these people. We assume that they are decent. But he lies,” Putin said of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “And he knows that he lies. That’s pathetic.”

The remarks, which seemed more fitting for a barroom scrap than a Kremlin statement, came on the eve of an urgent global debate about how to respond to the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus last month. At least with regards to that issue, Putin’s tone left little room to hope for compromise, or even civility, at…

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