G8 Summit and the Leaders' Impasse

I really liked this picture. It shows – if you would want to see – some characteristics of the leaders in their demeanour. Putin is a very intense and srong headed, non-nonsense fellow. He is not there to do any overly friendly stuff. He doesn’t really care about niceties – he is almost pushing Merkel here!

Bush is trying to over-hearing the conversation.. and has that stupid juvenile smile on his face. So he doesn’t even have the pretense of following the "rules". Merkel somehow seems a very strong lady… who is obviously discomforted here in her posture by the inadvertent "push" that Putin is giving her via her shoulder.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President George W. Bush sit on a giant beach chair during the G8 summit.

With the way Russia suppplies most of the Oil and Gas to Europe, this could be more than a "push"!

Btw, what did this G8 Summit achieve? Here is how Merkel and Bush stand on the Environment issues:

When George Bush first met Angela Merkel, shortly after she became the Chancellor of Germany 18 months ago, he thought he had finally found a friend from "Old Europe".

Believing – like British ministers at the time – that the right-wing former East German would be far less interested in the environment than the red-green government she had toppled – he patronisingly suggested that they could forget the Kyoto protocol.

"Mr President, you are mistaken," Mrs Merkel announced, drawing herself up to her full 5ft 8in. "I am one of those responsible for the protocol." And she told him how, as her country’s environment minister, she had chaired the meeting that had made the crucial breakthrough on the road to Kyoto, and then led its negotiating team when the treaty was agreed.

Over the past six months, the increasingly embattled President has had plenty of opportunity to remember his faux pas. For the Chancellor – the youngest person, as well as the first woman – to hold the office, has constantly harried him to drop his obstruction to negotiating new international measures through the United Nations for when the protocol’s targets expire in 2012.

Indeed, she has formed a double act with Tony Blair. Between them they recruited a formidable team of allies including the European Union President, Jose Manuel Barroso, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the new French President Nicolas Sarkozy and even Rupert Murdoch – and joined forces with the Republican governors led by Arnold Schwarzenegger, congressional and business leaders, and even leaders of the religious right putting pressure on Mr Bush at home.

The object of the campaign – which, for Mr Blair, goes back more than two years – was to get the Toxic Texan to give enough ground at last week’s G8 summit in Heiligendamm, on the German Baltic coast, to make possible a breakthrough in the UN negotiations this year.

It helped to make it one of the most cliffhanging G8 summits ever.

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