Susan Heavey and Mark Felsenthal
August 7, 2013
President Barack Obama on Wednesday abruptly canceled a Moscow summit
with President Vladimir Putin planned for next month in a retaliation
for Russia’s decision to grant asylum to fugitive U.S. spy agency
contractor Edward Snowden.
The cancellation marks a stark low point in U.S.-Russian relations in
the years since Obama embarked on a “reset” in ties to try to gain more
diplomatic cooperation, only to find that deep differences remain.
“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,”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
The Russian government expressed disappointment at the decision,
which means Obama will skip Moscow talks with Putin but still attend a
G20 summit in St. Petersburg September 5-6. Obama will stop in Sweden on
September 4 to replace the Moscow visit.
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