Reset, Smart Diplomacy, Flexibility, Whatever: Obama Cancels Meeting with Putin
No meeting for you! More: White House: Russia Repair in Hands of Kerry and Hagel
August 7, 2013 - 7:09 am
Do you think Vlad cares that Barry has just canceled their meeting to protest Russia’s handling of l’affaire Snowden? I don’t.
In a rare diplomatic snub, President Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month.
The decision reflects both U.S. anger over Russia’s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow’s stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights.
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. Instead of visiting Putin in Moscow, the president will add a stop in Sweden to his early September travel itinerary.
Sweden? Why Sweden?
Obama offered his thoughts on Russia last night on that hard-hitting foreign policy show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Obama, who is traveling in California, 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.”
Eh, I think Vlad just enjoys taking advantage of Obama’s narcissism and stupidity.
More: I don’t recall Obama ever criticizing any Muslim countries for anti-gay laws.
Obama also criticised a new Russian law cracking down on gay rights activism, saying he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgendered persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them”.
Russia has said it will enforce the law when it hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Asked whether the law would affect the games, Obama said he believed Putin and Russia have “a big stake in making sure the Olympics work”.
“I think they understand that for most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently,” he said.