Obama Cancels Next Month’s Meeting With Putin

Patricia Didelot - Author

Aug. 11 2013, Updated 2:44 a.m. ET

President Barack Obama has cancelled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month.

In a rare diplomatic snub, the American President is sending a message that his administration is not happy with Russia over the Snowden situation and other continuous issues.

On August 1, Russia granted a year long asylum request to the former National Security Agency contractor, after he had been staying in the transit area of the Moscow airport for weeks.

At the time, the Obama administration strongly voiced its disappointment over the development and hinted that Moscow’s actions could affect next month’s meeting between Obama and Putin.

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But Edward Snowden is only one of the reasons the US is cancelling the meeting. The US is not happy with Putin’s stance on missile defense and human rights.

President Obama is still planning to attend the Group of 20 (G20) meeting taking place in St. Petersburg, but has cancelled any one on one meetings with President Putin.

White House Deputy National Security adviser Ben Rhodes said Russia’s decision to defy US wishes and grant Snowden temporary asylum only made a troubled relationship worse.

With few signs that progress would be made during the Moscow summit on other items in the agenda, Rhodes said the president decided to cancel the talks.

Rhodes said the US and Russia will still work together in other common issues, but the newest troubles will only make matters more tense between the two former superpowers.

Things were already troubled before Snowden came along, with the US accusing Putin of aiding Syria’s President Bashar Assad in funding the bloody civil war as well as criticizing the crackdown on Russian opposition leaders.

The US recently sanctioned 18 Russians with human rights violations.

For its part Russia accuses the US of installing a missile shield in Eastern Europe as a deterrent against Russia, despite American denials.

Putin also signed a law last year banning US adoptions of Russian children, which was seen as retaliation for the US measure that cleared the way for the human rights sanctions.

Even as Obama has cancelled his meeting with Putin, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are preparing for meetings in Washington on Friday with their Russian counterparts.

Snowden’s status is expected to be a main topic of conversation.

What do you think of President Obama cancelling his meeting with President Putin? Is it a snub?


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