National/World

With smiles, Obama, Putin greet each other

Thursday, September 05, 2013
Russias President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. The threat of missiles over the Mediterranean is weighing on world leaders meeting on the shores of the Baltic this week, and eclipsing economic battles that usually dominate when the G-20 world economies meet. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Barack Obama during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. The threat of missiles over the Mediterranean is weighing on world leaders meeting on the shores of the Baltic this week, and eclipsing economic battles that usually dominate when the G-20 world economies meet. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed President Barack Obama with a smile and a handshake to the Group of 20 summit, in one of the most closely watched greetings of international diplomacy.

The 15-second exchange at the entrance to St. Petersburg's splendid Constantine Palace drew widespread media attention as a potential telltale sign of relations between the United States and Russia.

The exchange was their only planned one-on-one appearance at the summit in the midst of tensions between the two leaders over Syria and Russia's grant of asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

As Obama shook hands and smiled broadly, he thanked his host and nodded toward the palace pronouncing it, quote, "beautiful."

Obama arrived in his armored limousine, unlike other summit leaders who rode in G-20 Mercedes cars.

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president barack obama, vladimir putin, russia, national/world
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