It looks like one of President Putin's very first acts in office this week will be to snub the G8. Meanwhile, Francois Hollande will be sworn into office in France, and Iran may be cleaning up its nuclear sites as rumours of an inspection swell. And former Liberian president Charles Taylor will finally be sentenced for "aiding and abetting" war crimes in Sierra Leone. His sentence is likely to set a legal precedent: other high-profile war criminals will be watching closely.
Putin on the fritz
On Friday, the leaders of the G8 nations are due to meet at Camp David, the American president's official country residence. That is, most of the G8 leaders: Vladimir Putin, Russia's recently re-elected president, has pulled out. His excuse is that he is still forming a new cabinet: but it's a diplomatic slap in the face for Obama, who had even switched venues specially to save Putin embarrassment. (The G8 meeting had been scheduled for Chicago, the day before a Nato summit – which would have left Putin out in the cold.) Putin and Obama are now unlikely to meet until next month at the G20 summit in Mexico.
Iran cleans up its act
Iranian officials are due to meet the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Monday for another round of discussions on Iran's nuclear programme. The key issue is access to the Parchin military site, south-east of Tehran. IAEA head Yukiya Amano has questioned "activities" at the site, but hasn't secured an inspection. The US-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) claims that satellite imagery shows Iran “washing” the site before inspectors arrive.
Hollande takes office
On Tuesday, François Hollande will be sworn in as France’s new president. The first official date in his diary is a visit to Angela Merkel. Hollande is calling for pro-growth economic policies which clash with the German chancellor's push for tight-lipped austerity. The political weather will continue unsettled through the week, as the Greek politicians struggle to form a government following an indecisive election.
Charles Taylor sentenced
At the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in The Hague, Charles Taylor faces sentencing for "aiding and abetting" war crimes. The former Liberian president is the first former head of state to be convicted by an international tribunal since 1945: his punishment could set a precedent. Sudan's President Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity, is one of many likely to be watching closely.