Obama, Putin Share ‘Pleasant’ Handshake In Russia (PHOTOS)


President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin shook hands as Obama arrived in St. Petersburg Thursday for the G-20 summit.

The exchange “appeared pleasant” but “not over friendly” (sic), according to a White House pool report.

The relationship between the two presidents has been less than stellar recently, and Obama’s plan to meet with LGBT activists while in Russia is likely to be viewed as a jab at Putin.

“President Obama hasn’t been elected by the American people in order to be pleasant to Russia,” Putin said in a recent interview with the Associated Press. “And your humble servant hasn’t been elected by the people of Russia to be pleasant to someone either.”


Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.