The US and Russia have not bridged their differences over the issue of possible military action in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin says. Mr Putin said it was "counter-productive" to de-stabilize the situation
in the Middle East. His comments came in a news conference on the final day of the G20 summit in St Petersburg.US President Barack Obama had been pushing for support among leaders at the G20 for a US strike on Syria. The
US government accuses President Bashar al-Assad's forces of killing 1,429
people in a poison-gas attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21.
At the same time, he acknowledged, "anti-American" rhetoric has ramped up since Putin returned to the presidency in May 2012. And, Obama added, he'd had "mixed success" trying to get "Putin to think forward, as opposed to backwards" on some issues.
Things appeared to go differently when Dmitry Medvedev was president. (At that time, Putin had become prime minister after serving his first eight years as president.) Medvedev and Obama scored significant agreements on arms control and letting NATO troops get to Afghanistan through Russia.
Yet the atmosphere changed noticeably after Putin, a former KGB operative, resumed the top position in Russia's government. There were diplomatic flare-ups on everything from espionage to human rights to the adoption of Russian children.