Russia Reacts to Obama's Canceled Visit

Russian officials say they are disappointed President Obama canceled his meeting with President Putin. They say Russia had no choice but to give former NSA analyst Edward Snowden asylum.

MGN Online

MOSCOW (AP) -- The Kremlin voiced disappointment Wednesday with President Barack Obama's decision to cancel his Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said it remains ready to cooperate with the United States on bilateral and international issues.
Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters that Obama's decision reflected America's inability to develop relations with Moscow on an "equal basis."
At the same time, he said the invitation to the U.S. president to visit Moscow next month still stands and added that "Russian representatives are ready to continue working together with American partners on all key issues on the bilateral and multilateral agenda."
The cancellation of the summit underscores U.S. dismay over Russia's harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, as well as disagreements on other key issues, such as missile defense and Russia's human rights record.
Snowden, an NSA systems analyst accused of leaking highly secretive details about the agency's surveillance programs, first fled from the U.S. to Hong Kong, then made his way to Russia. He was stuck in the transit zone of a Moscow airport for more than a month before Russia granted him asylum last week.
Ushakov reiterated the Kremlin's argument that Russia had no choice but to offer asylum to Snowden in the absence of a bilateral extradition agreement. Snowden has been given asylum for one year, with the possibility of extension.


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