President Barack Obama will not meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this week's G20 summit in St. Petersburg, but Obama said Wednesday that he'll continue to make the case to his Kremlin counterpart to ease off supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria ahead of possible military strikes against the Damascus government by the U.S.
Obama departed Sweden for Russia Thursday morning, one day after admitting that U.S.-Russian relations have "hit a wall.
" However, Obama later added that he'd continue to press Putin despite the latter's continuing resistance to any kind of action against Assad.
"It is not possible for Mr. Assad to regain legitimacy in a country where he's killed tens of thousands of his own people," Obama said. "So far, at least, Mr. Putin has rejected that logic."
Obama added: "I'm always hopeful, and I will continue to engage him."
However, the White House went out of its way to say Obama would not hold bilateral discussions with the Russian leader while in St. Petersburg. Instead, Obama will formally meet on the summit's sidelines with the leaders of France, China and Japan, though a senior administration official said the two presidents will have a chance to speak.
Russia's resistance is a key reason why the U.N. Security Council so far has not gotten on board with U.S. calls for action in response to the alleged chemical weapons strike against Syrian rebels on August 21.
OKLAHOMA CITY – A 4.5-magnitude earthquake in central Oklahoma shook residents Saturday, just weeks after the two-year anniversary of the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the Sooner state.
The shaking is increasingly commonplace in the state, so after the initial surprise, customers at a central Oklahoma restaurant returned their attention to an in-state college football rivalry game.
Marty Doepke, general manager of Pops Restaurant in Arcadia, said there was no damage at the restaurant that's known for its selection of some 600 soft drinks — hundreds of which are displayed along shelves.