Just what can they [the politicians] achieve at the meeting?
Speaking at Downing Street the Russian president was completely unapologetic for arming the Syrian government - it was quite legal he said - and looked unimpressed when his host, the prime minister, called President Assad a "murderous dictator".
Compare that with the words of David Cameron almost two weeks ago. Speaking to the House of Commons on 3rd June the prime minister condemned "those who argue against ... doing more to support the opposition" as "making some of the same arguments used in the Bosnian conflict 20 years ago."
The irony is that Cameron, unlike Blair, cannot deliver military support himself. As apparent on this morning's today programme, half his back benchers, the Lib Dems and most of Labour are not interested, how is he going to chair this years G8?