Obama Stays at Moscow's Ritz-Carlton


As believed earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama and his family stayed at Moscow’s swanky new Ritz-Carlton, where, according to reports in The New York Times and elsewhere, they spent Tuesday evening at the hotel’s O2 Lounge.

The glass-enclosed, über-hip rooftop O2 offers a panoramic view of Moscow, including Red Square and the Kremlin, all the more striking as the lingering summer sun sets after 10 p.m.

Obama had dinner with President Dmitri A. Medvedev on Monday, the Times reported, and lunch with him on Tuesday. But with the second dinner slot unavailable, he ended up having breakfast Tuesday with Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, a known night owl not given to American-style early morning business meals.

The Obamas, though, wanted some downtime before getting back on Air Force One to head to Italy for three days of meetings at the G8 summit meeting and, from there, to Ghana for a one-day visit.

While in Russia, Mrs. Obama visited an orphanage and then escorted the orphans to a special dance performance at a Moscow theater. Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, did not accompany her, remaining instead with Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson.