The Wall Street Journal
Obama Cancels Meeting With Putin Amid Tension Over Snowden
Relations Strained Over Russia’s Decision to Grant Asylum to NSA Leaker
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama canceled a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin set to be held in Moscow next month, following Russia’s decision to grant asylum to former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden, the White House said Wednesday.
U.S.-Russian relations have been strained over Moscow’s handling of Mr. Snowden, the National Security Agency leaker who was granted asylum in Russia last week. The White House had previously signaled Mr. Obama was unlikely to attend a planned one-on-one meeting with Mr. Putin next month in Moscow ahead of the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg.
“There are times when they slip back into Cold War thinking and Cold War mentality,” Mr. Obama said of Russia in an interview on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on Tuesday night. “What I continually say to them and to President Putin, that’s the past.”
Mr. Obama still plans to attend the G-20 summit scheduled for early September, which Russia is hosting.