Obama Might Give Putin Cold Shoulder in Russia

White House hints he'll skip meeting in Moscow

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 19, 2013 11:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama is still going to Russia this fall to attend a G20 summit, but the White House is now suggesting that he'll back out of a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. All the coverage says it's Obama's way of making clear he's not happy about US-Russia relations at the moment, mostly because of Edward Snowden, but also over things like the sentencing of a top Putin critic to 5 years in prison, and Moscow's support of Syria, reports New York. This is Obama's way of trying to gain some leverage, according to the common refrain in stories:

  • "Canceling the meeting in Moscow would be seen as a direct slap at Mr. Putin, who is known to value such high-level visits as a validation of Russian prestige," says the New York Times.
  • "Canceling the summit, announced in June, would deal a blow to Obama administration efforts to smooth relations with Russia and would be a direct challenge to Putin’s prestige," says Bloomberg, noting that Putin is the current G20 president.
  • "By simply considering cancellation of the trip, the Obama administration is indicating its concern the Kremlin will allow Snowden to take refuge in Russia," says AP.

In this June 17, 2013, photo, President Obama meets with Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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