Snubbed: Obama Nixes Meeting With Putin - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Obama Nixes Meeting With Putin

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers from both parties are voicing support for President Barack Obama's decision to cancel an upcoming Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    
The move sent a stern message of disapproval over Russia's harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
    
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says Putin has been "acting like a school-yard bully." He says the Russian leader "doesn't deserve the respect a bilateral summit would have accorded him."
    
And Republican congressman Ed Royce of California says the move "should help make clear" that it was "unacceptable" for Russia to give temporary asylum to Snowden.
    
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says it was the "unanimous view" of Obama and his national security team that a summit wouldn't make sense in the current environment, which Rhodes described as a troubled relationship. He says the Snowden decision served only to worsen tensions, and that the U.S. saw few signs that progress could be made at a summit on other agenda items.
    
Russia's government is voicing disappointment, saying the decision shows that the U.S. isn't able to develop relations with Russia on an "equal basis." A foreign affairs adviser says Russia remains ready to work together with the U.S. "on all key issues."

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NBCNEWS.COM - President Barack Obama has canceled a planned meeting in Moscow with Russia's President Vladimir Putin - a diplomatic snub that follows tensions over NSA leaker Edward Snowden. The mini-summit had been scheduled for early September, days before the G-20 meeting of world economic leaders in St Petersburg, Russia.

Obama will still attend the main G-20 summit. Authorities in Moscow last week granted temporary asylum to Snowden, who is wanted by U.S. authorities for leaking classified intelligence information to newspapers.

That decision infuriated Washington. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called on the U.S. "to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin's Russia."In a statement Wednesday, the White House noted co-operation in some areas, such as policies toward Afghanistan and Iran, but said Moscow's decision to help Snowden was "disappointing."

"Given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda," the White House said. Senator Charles E. Schumer, who had urged Obama to cancel the summit, welcomed the White House decision.

"President Putin is acting like a school-yard bully and doesn't deserve the respect a bilateral summit would have accorded him," he said.There have also been tensions between Moscow and Washington over missile defenses and how to deal with the civil war in Syria. Face-to-face talks between Obama and Putin in Northern Ireland in June were tense.

The decision to cancel the meeting also came hours after Obama criticized Russia's policies toward gays and lesbians in an interview with "The Tonight Show" host Jay Leno. Obama told Leno he would take a tough stance with Russia at the summit. "There are times when they slip back into Cold War thinking and Cold War mentality," he said of the Russian government. "What I continually say to them and  to President Putin, that's the past."

In place of the Putin meeting, Obama will visit Sweden, according to a White House statement that called Sweden "a close friend and partner to the United States." Meetings between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry and their Russian counterparts scheduled for August 9 in Washington will go ahead as planned, the White House said.

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