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Putin: US on Dangerous Course In Syria

Russia may no longer consider the US a reliable partner.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes U.S. President Barack Obama before the first working session of the G20 Summit in Constantine Palace in Strelna near St. Petersburg, September 5, 2013.                REUTERS/Grigory Dukor (RUSSIA  - Tags: POLITICS)   - RTX1388G
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A pattern is emerging: The country holding the presidency of the G20 or the G8 carefully prepares an agenda, discusses it with its partners and puts together a program for the forum. Then something happens that either destroys the plans entirely or, at the least, fouls them up and forces an urgent discussion of the immediate crisis. Lebanon, Greece, Greece again, Libya, Cyprus and now Syria. In the modern world, nothing can be planned. Everything has to be done ad hoc, frantically reacting to events in hopes of guessing right.

Just two months ago, some looked forward to the summit in St. Petersburg mainly as an opportunity to open a new chapter in Russian-US relations. To some extent it was, but in the opposite direction. Instead of a pragmatic attempt to move toward a set of topics for dialogue, firm confirmation arrived that no dialogue exists or is foreseeable. The appearance of Edward Snowden, the fugitive former National Security Agency contractor, forced President Barack Obama to cancel a separate trip to Moscow on the eve of the summit, and the scandal involving the use of chemical weapons in Syria made it pointless to even have a private conversation at the G20 meeting.

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