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APEC Summit Vladivostok Official Family Photo

Official APEC Vladivostok 2012 Leaders costume photo
APEC Summit in Vladivostok


How President Obama Saved Vladimir Putin's Troubled APEC Summit

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk about APEC 2012 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

APEC Vladivostok road from airport to Russky Island 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 on fire.

The two planned luxury Hyatt Hotels were not be able to open in time for the summit.

The new Opera House, Oceanarium, concert and sports complex, power plant, and three hydrofoils built to provide transportation between Pussy Riot members 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

Vladimir Putin on a hang glider with cranes and birds around

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.

Vladimir Putin hang gliding in Russia


APEC Hawaii 2011 leaders costumes

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.

APEC Vladivostok official family photo


Russia Announces Plans for APEC Costumes

The White House was delighted when the Government of Russia announced that the APEC costume tradition would be continued in Vladivostok!

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:

 Russian national costume - APEC Russia 2012 leaders Julia Gillard, Stephen Harper, Hillary Clinton, Lee Hsien Loong, Hu Jintao, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Yoshihiko Noda

APEC leaders protesting in Vladivostok - official family photo



US Consulate embassy in Vladivostok with white protest ribbon - APEC 2012

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 2012 Vladivostok matryoshka dolls



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.

APEC Leaders not with Hillary Clinton at APEC 2012 Vladivostok Russia



Air Force One Made APEC-Ready

Pussy Riot protest paint on Air Force One

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin on the APEC Vladivostok Bridge to Russky Island


Russky Island bridge fire - APEC 2012 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.

The billion-dollar 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.

Vladivostok bridge - APEC protesters near Russky Island



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:








APEC 2012 Vladivostok in the News

Xinhua News Agency:  Obama's absence at APEC summit triggers unfit reset in U.S.-Russia ties

The New Zealand Herald:  Russian Bridge of Trouble Opens to World

The Epoch Times:  Russia Kowtows to Beijing in Advance of APEC   White House Proposes to Entertain Guests of the APEC Summit in Vladivostok with
                          a performance by Pussy Riot

The Moscow Times:  APEC and Pussy Riot

RT - Russia Today:  APEC Summit Uniform Crisis: Chefs at APEC might be left with nothing to wear

The Moscow Times:  Vladivostok Bridge Launch Delayed

Channel News Asia:  Russia Prime Minister Medvedev furious after summit road collapses

RT - Russia Today:  Down the drain in the rain: $1 billion highway washed away in Far East

Gazeta:  Vladivostok: No time to build 5-star hotels before APEC summit

Radio Free Europe:  Rumors Abound As Obama Skips Summit

The Moscow Times:  Obama to Skip APEC Summit in Vladivostok

The Moscow News:  Trouble on Russky Island

Russia & India Report: Vladivostok 2012: dolling up for the APEC summit (Bridge to Nowhere?)

RT - Russia Today:  Burning bridge: Russia’s longest span ablaze - Vladivostok



Background on APEC Russia 2012 in Vladivostok

APEC 2012 Russia Vladivostok - bridge 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.


North Korea leader at APEC Summit in Vladivostok

Plus, possibly a surprise guest from North Korea!






Map of APEC Countries

map of APEC countries in 2012 Vladivostok


View larger map of APEC countries


Read about APEC Indonesia 2013 in Bali.
Read our advice to China about planning the APEC China 2014 Summit.



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