Russian President Vladimir Putin says he and President Obama can have constructive talks -- even though he's disappointed Obama cancelled a meeting with him in Moscow.
In what the Associated Press says in his only interview before he hosts the G8 summit, Putin warned the U.S. against military strikes in Syria and downplayed his testy relationship with Obama -- which Russia analysts say is the worst in US-Russian and US-Soviet leader relationships.
But Putin expressed hope the two would have serious talks in St. Petersburg: "President Obama hasn't been elected by the American people in order to be pleasant to Russia," Putin told the AP. "And your humble servant hasn't been elected by the people of Russia to be pleasant to someone either," he said of their relationship.
"We work, we argue about some issues. We are human. Sometimes one of us gets vexed. But I would like to repeat once again that global mutual interests form a good basis for finding a joint solution to our problems," Putin said.
He didn't rule out supporting a UN resolution to support military strikes if it's proven that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, but called it "ludicrous" that the government would use chemical weapons at a time when it was holding sway against the rebels.