Obama cancels meetings with Putin amid tensions
LOS ANGELES – President Barack Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month.
The move is in retribution for Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. But it also reflects growing U.S. frustration with Russia on an array of other issues, including missile defense and human rights.
The White House says Obama still plans to attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but has no plans to meet with Putin there one-on-one. Obama will also add a stop in Sweden to his early September travel itinerary.
The U.S. planned to alert Russia of the president’s decision Wednesday, though Obama and Putin were not expected to speak directly. Obama is on a two-day trip to California.