Back to business as Putin exits G20 summit early

Updated: 2014-11-16 21:45


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Back to business as Putin exits G20 summit early

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference at the end of the G20 summit in Brisbane November 16, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

BRISBANE - Russian President Vladimir Putin made an early exit from G20 leaders' summit in Brisbane on Sunday, saying he needed rest and had to get back to work in Moscow on Monday.

He was the first G20 leader to leave Brisbane, and departed for home after giving a press conference at noon on Sunday.

At the press conference, Putin thanked G20 host Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for providing a "nice, welcoming and good working atmosphere."

He said his discussions with G20 leaders about the Ukraine were very frank and candid and rich in content.

Explaining his reason for leaving the summit early, Putin said he had completed his G20 business and needed to rest.

"It will take nine hours to fly to Vladivostok and another eight hours to get Moscow. I need four hours sleep before I get back to work on Monday. We have completed our business," he said.

The Russian president individually met five European leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his stay in Brisbane, where he continued to forge close relations with other BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

At Abbott's press conference, a Russian journalist noted that Putin had described Abbott as an "effective chairman" and a "good partner."

In response, Abbot said: "When all is said and done, President Putin was a guest in our country ... and I was happy to treat him with respect and courtesy while he was here in Australia."