Asean summit: Putin is latest no-show to raise eyebrows
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AFP) - After the US president's no-show at a pair of Asia-Pacific summits, eyebrows are being raised over Russian leader Vladimir Putin's decision to also skip one of the gatherings.
Despite coming to the region for an economic meeting in Indonesia earlier this week, Mr Putin has passed on a subsequent East Asia summit in the sultanate of Brunei set for Friday.
It marks the third straight year that Moscow has sent a stand-in to a gathering that Russia had lobbied hard to join in 2011, raising questions over Moscow's level of commitment to the East Asia bloc.
Russia had promised "to be represented at the highest level", said Dr Surin Pitsuwan, former secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), annual host of the East Asia summit.