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.