Putin withdraws for APEC 2015 in Manila; Kris Aquino to host luncheon for APEC Leaders' Spouses

MANILA, Philippines - Everything is on track as Manila is on its final way in preparing for one of the world’s most important meeting of the world’s leaders. While U.S. President Obama will be back in the country again for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting next week (November 18-19,2015), Russian President Vladimir Putin himself will not be able to go to the Philippines anymore.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Benigno Aquino
Russian President Vladimir Putin with President Benigno Aquino
at the APEC Leader’s Meeting  2012. Photo Credit: philstar.com
Putin supposed to stay in Mandaluyong, PNP extends area of security service for APEC2015

In an earlier article on the forthcoming preparations for the APEC in Manila, Putin has already confirmed his attendance for the leaders’ meeting in Manila next week. The Philippine National Police has even gone the extra mile in extending their service as it was announced that Putin will stay in a hotel in Mandaluyong City. This has been an issue in which the Philippine government asked their Russian counterpart to see if they can make some adjustment for their leader to just stay in a place within the cities of Pasay and Makati where other world leaders will be billeted during the event.

Last-minute cancellation, no politics involved says Kremlin spokesperson

"I can confirm that Prime Minister will represent Russia at APEC summit in Manila," – Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman

According to the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS), it will be Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev who will represent Russia instead as he also has a planned visit in the Southeast Asian region which the Russian government may have found as a more convenient option as the country is strategically located in the said region as well. Peskov shrugged issues that Putin will not join anymore as Manila has stronger ties with the U.S. than Russia having said that "This [allegation] is an incorrect estimation which shows lack of understanding of the essence of Russian policy in the Asia-Pacific region,’ and further added that "some of bilateral meetings [planned at the summit] will be compensated by telephone conversations, some other meetings have not been coordinated yet."

Last minute changes in huge world leaders’ event such as APEC or bilateral country meetings have been a fad for quite some time. It can be noted that U.S. President Obama cancelled his supposed meeting with Putin prior to the 2013 G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Indonesia’s Widodo withdraws too while China’s President Xi confirms Manila visit

Aside from Putin, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will miss the event too with Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong replacing his presence. While Putin’s absence might be filled as another interesting figure in the name of Chinese President Xi Jinping will grace the event. It has been known that China’s aggressiveness in the South China Sea causes a stir between neighboring countries like the Philippines in which the United States is its ally.

Aquino sisters to host luncheon for APEC leaders’ spouses

Kris Aquino APEC 2015
Presidential sister Kris Aquino as quoted in her Instagram post

Meanwhile PNoy’s youngest sister, Kris Aquino is tasked together with the other presidential sisters to act as the de-facto first ladies of their brother as they will be hosting a luncheon for the wives of the world leaders that will attend the APEC meeting. The first ladies of Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zeland, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Colombia confirmed their attendance. - Michael Santiago/ TheSummitExpress

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