Obama to skip September economic summit in Russia

President Obama won't attend this year's Asia-Pacific economic summit in Russia because of his reelection bid, White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed Monday. 

The Russian newspaper Vedomosti first reported the news on Friday. The White House's confirmation comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin pulled out of this week's G8 summit at Camp David, widely seen as a snub to Obama.

The U.S. president's decision not to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit however has more to do with the electoral calendar. Obama is scheduled to accept the Democratic nomination for president on Sept. 6 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., right in the middle of the Sept. 1–8 APEC summit in Vladivostok.

Carney said he wasn't aware of the presidential traveling outside the United States between the June G-20 summit in Mexico and the November election.

Asked about the perception that U.S.-Russian relations are getting worse, Carney said they have “borne significant successes.”

“The fact of the matter is we have a comprehensive relationship with Russia that's built on working together in areas where we agree and that has borne significant successes, that approach, and then be[ing] very clear about where we disagree but not letting those disagreements undermine the overall relationship," Carney said Monday.

“And that was true under President Medvedev when Vladimir Putin was prime minister, and it will continue to be true now that Mr. Putin has returned to the presidency and Mr. Medvedev is now prime minister,” he said.