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Published On: Wed, Aug 7th, 2013

President Obama cancels meeting with Vladimir Putin over Edward Snowden asylum, but notes other ‘tensions’

President Barack Obama on Wednesday canceled his Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The decision is highly impacted over Russia granting asylum to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but the Obama administration also noted growing frustration on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights.

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at his dacha outside Moscow, Russia 2009 Pete Souza photo

President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at his dacha outside Moscow, Russia 2009 Pete Souza photo

Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but a top White House official said the president had no plans to hold one-on-one talks with Putin while there.

In place of visiting Putin in Moscow, the president will add a stop in Sweden to his early September travel itinerary.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Russia’s decision last week to defy the U.S. and grant Snowden temporary asylum only exacerbated an already troubled relationship.

“We’ll still work with Russia on issues where we can find common ground, but it was the unanimous view of the president and his national security team that a summit did not make sense in the current environment,” Rhodes said.

Moscow has accused the U.S. of installing a missile shield in Eastern Europe as a deterrent against Russia, despite American assurances that the shield is not aimed at its former Cold War foe. Putin also signed a law last year banning U.S. adoptions of Russian children, a move that was seen as retaliation for the U.S. measure that cleared the way for the human rights sanctions.

Obama said in an interview Tuesday that he was “disappointed” by Russia’s move to grant Snowden asylum for one year. But he said the move also reflected the “underlying challenges” the U.S. faces in dealing with Moscow.

“There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality,” Obama said in an interview on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”

“What I continually say to them and  to President Putin, that’s the past.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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