How President Obama Saved Vladimir Putin's Troubled APEC Summit
Like President Putin's return to power, APEC Vladivostok had been plagued with problems from the start. Impressed with the flawless APEC Summit in Honolulu last year, President Putin called on President Obama to ask for his
advice on how to save his big Vladivostok event.
President Obama decided to skip the APEC Summit in Russia this year to focus on
his more important Presidential campaign. However, in the spirit of friendship and the recent reset in relations between the two countries, the President was
still willing to help the worried Russian leader.
Problems with the APEC Summit in Vladivostok
The new road built to allow APEC attendees to travel between the Vladivostok airport and Russky Island
collapsed amid rainy weather
and the famous billion dollar bridge to Vladivostok caught
The new Opera House, Oceanarium, concert and sports complex, power plant, and three hydrofoils built to provide transportation between
Vladivostok and Russky Island were not ready either.
Worldwide scorn of the Pussy Riot two-year sentence threatened to overshadow President Putin's big event.
However, the remote location of the summit, gas rationing inside Vladivostok,
and history of long prison sentences for political expression in Russia kept the protesters away.
Last Minute Bird Problems Plague APEC Summit
An unexpected influx of birds descended upon Russky Island causing President Vladimir Putin to fly into action. Undaunted by the pecking pests, Putin donned a bird suit and led them safely away from the
summit venues. Coincidentally, the Voice of Russia also announced that Crane Goulash has been added to the Economic Leaders' Dinner menu set for Saturday evening.
APEC Costume Choice
The key to any successful APEC Summit is the choice of costume for
the traditional APEC Family Photo, also known as the "silly shirts" photo.
A timid choice, such as the casual business attire at the 2010
APEC Summit in Japan, is a disappointment to APEC fans worldwide.
President Obama asked the American People in 2011 to vote for their favorite costume.
The winning attire, as everyone knows, resulted in this instantly iconic APEC 2011 Leaders photo.
Knowing that President Putin would never allow a truly democratic voting process for the Russian APEC costumes, President Obama
stepped in and suggested the two Russian national dress choices below:
U.S. Advice to Russia: Go American!
While everyone knows that Vladivostok is certainly no San Francisco,
the White House applauds the Russian Government's $20 billion dollar facelift for the desolate city for the APEC Summit. But it will take more
than mere cosmetic changes to make the city palatable to international visitors.
Having experienced the local cuisine in Vladivostok first-hand, the American Consulate there generously offered to help educate the Russian
cooks at a "Taste of America" workshop in preparation for the 2012 APEC Summit.
APEC 2012 Leaders Gift
In 2011, the White House chose the "APEC Leaders Commemorative Bobble Head" as the official APEC Leaders' gift. This choice
was a real hit with the Leaders. For 2012, we recommended an APEC Leaders Matryoshka Doll set, preferably with absent President Obama in
one of the top three nesting positions.
APEC Vladivostok Entertainment
One of the highlights of the APEC Summit is the APEC Economic Leaders' reception and dinner scheduled on September 8th. The entertainment choice for this important social event should reflect the political
attitude of the majority of
citizens of the host country. For the 2012 APEC Reception in Vladivostok, the White House believes the popular Russian musical artists below would be an appropriate choice.
We're Sending Joe
President Obama is pleased to announce that Vice President Joe Biden is taking a break from the campaign trail to attend APEC Vladivostok in his place. Joe spent an afternoon brushing up on the issues with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and looked forward to feasting on some Russian caviar at the summit.
Air Force One Made APEC-Ready
The White House joined the State Department in expressing disappointment over the politically motivated prosecution and sentencing of the Russian female punk band Pussy Riot.
In his own inimitable way, VP Joe Biden decorated Air Force One in anticipation of his big trip to Vladivostok.
Putin Eases Vladivostok Bridge Safety Concerns
President Obama was impressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin's brave response to international concern regarding the safety of the quickly built two-mile long suspension bridge.
Russian-engineered longest cable-stayed bridge in the world caught on fire last December due to safety violations related to welding.
Putin averted a public relations disaster by climbing up on
the bridge to show that it can easily support his weight.
Several months after catching on fire, the bridge collapsed in a rainstorm due to engineering miscalculations involving the support wall.
APEC 2012 Vladivostok Videos
The White House was pleased to see that after decades of state-run media propaganda, Russia finally embraced the spirit of openness and transparency. браво Vladimir! Here are some videos shot by Vladivostok residents capturing the excitement of the APEC 2012 preparations:
The 2012 APEC Leaders Week is taking place September 2 - 9. The 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting is being held on September 8th and 9th.
Prior to APEC 2012, Russky Island had only military related facilities and a very small population. Since chosen as the 2012 APEC site, construction projects have sprung up all over the island.
The new campus for the Far Eastern Federal University will host the APEC 2012 Leaders Week activities.
Two bridges; new roads; a new international airport terminal; wastewater purification facility; upgrades to the water supply system, power grid and telecommunications infrastructure; helipad; medical facilities; restaurants;
stores; opera and ballet theater; and an oceanarium were on the enormous APEC-related $20 billion construction project wish list.
Participating APEC 2012 Leaders and APEC 2012 Countries List
There are 21 APEC member economies: Australia: Julia Gillard/Craig Emerson; Brunei: Hassanal Bolkiah; Canada: Stephen Harper; Chile: Sebastián Piñera; China: Hu Jintao; Hong Kong: John Tsang Chun-wah; 2013 APEC Host Country Indonesia: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; Japan: Yoshihiko Noda; Malaysia: Najib Razak;
Mexico: Felipe Calderón; New Zealand: John Key; Papua New Guinea: Peter O'Neill; Peru: Ollanta Humala; Philippines: Benigno Aquino III; Russia: Vladimir Putin; Singapore: Lee Hsien Loong; South Korea: Lee Myung-bak;
Thailand: Yingluck Shinawatra; Taiwan: Ma Ying-jeou (disguised as Lien Chan); Vietnam: Truong Tan Sang, and the United States: 2016 President Hillary Clinton.
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