The relationship between Russia and the United States chilled further Wednesday as President Obama canceled plans for a presidential summit with Vladimir Putin that was set to be held next month. The snub comes in the wake of Washington’s disapproval of Moscow’s decision to grant asylum to NSA intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
Officially, the White House cited “not enough progress on our bilateral agenda.”
“Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September.”
According to theguardian.com:
“The White House confirmed that it had decided to snub the Russian leader by pulling out of the planned bilateral meeting in Moscow, but is expected to take part in the broader G20 meeting of international leaders in St Petersburg.
“Moscow reacted coolly to the decision, which had been widely expected after Putin infuriated the Obama administration by granting temporary sanctuary to Snowden, who fled to Moscow after the Chinese government allowed him to leave Hong Kong, rather than heed U.S. calls for his arrest.”
Russia disappointed by Obama decision
“Russia has voiced disappointment with Obama’s decision to cancel his Moscow summit with Putin, but said it remains ready to co-operate on bilateral and international issues.
“Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters on Wednesday that Obama’s decision reflected the U.S. inability to develop relations with Moscow on an ‘equal basis.’
“At the same time, he said the invitation to the U.S. president to visit Moscow next month still stands and added that ‘Russian representatives are ready to continue working together with American partners on all key issues on the bilateral and multilateral agenda.'”