Putin says he and Obama still at odds on Syria, blames attack on rebels

Russian President Putin arrives for the family picture event during the G20 summit in St.Petersburg
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) arrives for the family picture event during the G20 summit in St.Petersburg September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Pool

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he and U.S. President Barack Obama stuck to their positions over Syria but listened to each other during a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of a G20 summit on Friday and are looking for ways forward.

Putin blamed an alleged chemical attack on opponents of the Syrian government, saying it was a provocation, and suggested that a punitive U.S. military strike on the Middle Eastern nation would harm the global economy and stifle growth.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Steve Gutterman)