Reports: G-20 seating chart altered
By: Tal Kopan
September 5, 2013 07:51 AM EDT
Those eager for a potentially awkward photo op of President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin sitting next to each other at the G-20 summit might be disappointed: The seating chart is putting more distance between the two leaders than previously expected.
Seating at the summit is alphabetical, but the planners for the event have reportedly changed which alphabet they are using to make the chart, Voice of America and The Guardian reported. In the Cyrillic alphabet, which is used in Russian, Russia and the United States would have been separated only by Saudi Arabia, but in the Latin alphabet, used in English, the two nations are separated by five others.
Putin’s spokesman confirmed to a Russian newspaper the English alphabet would be used, according to the reports.
On Thursday, as Obama arrived in Russia for the summit, White House advisers confirmed to the media that there are still no plans for one-on-one meetings between Putin and Obama, though there would be interactions on the sidelines.
Asked about the seating arrangements, the White House referred POLITICO to the Russian government as the organizer of the meetings.