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G20 Leaders Treated To Lavish Display At Peterhof Palace After Syria Talks (PICTURES)

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Leaders at the G20 summit were treated to a lavish spectacular of water, fireworks and music on Thursday at the Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg, after a day of tense talks over Syria.

The event, which saw glamorous actors dressed up in opulent period costumes parade the grounds before the leaders, was in sharp contrast to the tense discussions earlier in the day.

Disagreements over Syria came to a head when it was reported that a Russian adviser had dismissed Britain as "just a small island".

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Leaders were pictured walking past lavishly dressed performers

Vladimir Putin's chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that he was responsible for the comment, insisting it did not reflect the reality of Russia's views on its "positive" relations with the UK.

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David Cameron told reporters: "I've been told that the Russians absolutely deny making the remark, and certainly no one's made it to me."

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Cameron and Putin were pictured side by side

Earlier in the day David Cameron, along with his counterparts from France and the US, had tried to pressure Russia by presenting fresh evidence that sarin nerve gas was used in Syria's chemical attack in August.

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Actors were dressed in period costumes

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Leaders attended the event after a long day of discussions over Syria

But Putin said it was "absolutely absurd" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would use chemical weapons.

At a four-hour dinner in St Petersburg the premiers of Turkey, Canada, Germany and Italy all joined Barack Obama and Cameron in making the case for a robust international response to Assad's alleged breach of treaties banning the use of chemical weapons.

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Fireworks were displayed over the palace

But it is understood that Putin's argument that any action must be approved by the UN Security Council was backed by several countries, including China.

"This G20 was never going to reach conclusions on Syria," Cameron said.

"The divisions are too great.

"The Russian position that, as Putin has said, if it is proved it is Assad he will take a different view but he is fairly clear that it is the opposition, is miles away from what I think the truth is and miles away from what lots of us believe."

However the tension of the day appeared to have dissipated by the time the leaders headed out for a night of fun, as Putin was pictured covering German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a blanket, and sipping a cup of tea next to David Cameron.

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