President Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, could barely stand to look at each other in Peru on Sunday as they shared a brief and chilly handshake.
Both men have good reason to be icy with each other.
Obama is likely still smarting from the humiliating ballot-box defeat his party suffered two weeks ago in the presidential election, when Donald Trump — an open admirer of Putin.
Obama also could be miffed that suspected Russian hackers exposed embarrassing confidential emails between Democratic bigwigs, which political observers say helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Russia also has angered the Obama administration by taking sides in the Syrian civil war, aiding despot President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, Putin must still be stewing over the continued US sanctions against his country, which were payback for Moscow’s incursion into Ukraine and have crippled his nation’s economy.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit later in the day in Lima, Obama and Putin put aside their differences to huddle for about four minutes, White House aides said.
While reporters were out of earshot, the two world leaders talked about the Minsk Protocol, which has kept a fragile peace along the Russia-Ukraine border, the White House said.