Russian President Vladimir PutinAlexei Druzhnin / TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go to Manila to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit; Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will go to the Philippines instead, as he also has a number of visits to Southeast-Asian countries planned for next week, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
"I can confirm. It's true that Russia will be represented by the prime minister at the APEC summit in Manila," Peskov told journalists on Nov. 12.
"As a matter of fact, the prime minister has other contacts and visits planned in the Southeast Asia region. And, considering this, from the viewpoint of optimizing the top leaders' schedules, the president has made this decision. The point is, the president and the prime minister shouldn't travel that far one or two days apart from each other," Peskov said.
He made it clear that the decision was made by the president himself and that this happened recently.
At the same time, Putin traditionally attaches great significance to APEC problems and the summit's agenda and plans to publish an article "related to the Manila summit's agenda and to cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region in general," Peskov said.
"It will be published in the leading media outlets of the APEC member-states in the run-up to the summit," he said.
Asked whether Medvedev might meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, Peskov suggested that the question should be addressed to the government.
"In this case, certainly, this question should be addressed to the government. Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] will plan his program, and perhaps I am not in a position to say something here," he said.
At the same time, Peskov pointed out that such summits "are good in that they provide an excellent opportunity to talk to each other on the sidelines and at common events."
"But, again, this is the government's prerogative," he said.
The government press service had reported earlier that Medvedev would attend the East Asia summit in Malaysia on November 21-22 and would pay a working visit to Cambodia on November 23-24.
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