"I don't think we should ... fool ourselves. This is G7 plus one. That's what this is. G7 plus one. Mr. Putin and his government are supporting the thugs of the Assad regime for their own reasons that I do not think are justifiable and Mr. Putin knows my view on that. But we will not -- unless there's a big shift of position on his part -- we're not going to get a common position with him".Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't even try to hide his frustration with Russia's Vladimir Putin at last June's G8 summit. And last night, before he even landed in Russia for the G20, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird continued to voice Canada's displeasure with Russia, suggesting Mr. Putin's policies have enabled the Assad regime.
"This is going to dominate this economic conference. Russia's intractability to work with others on this issue, in some respects the heart of the problem".John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
John Baird, and all G20 foreign ministers, weren't even supposed to be part of the summit. They were all hastily added to the roster because of the ongoing crisis in Syria.
Geo-politics is casting large shadows on this economic summit. President Obama and G20 host Russian President Vladimir Putin are eyeball to eyeball over Syria. And then there's the matter of the U.S. National Security Agency allegedly spying on some of the attending leaders.
Paul Martin: Time to expand the role of the G20 CBC News (2010)
Former Prime Minister Paul Martin knows firsthand what it's like to look for concessions where there seems to be only divisions. He is an architect of the G20. He joined us from Montreal.
For more insight into what may or may not be accomplished at the G20, we were joined by two guests attending the summit.
What are your thoughts on the G20?
This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Vanessa Greco.