Obama’s Russia trip could be canceled

Obama’s Russia trip could be canceled

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Obama’s Russia trip could be canceled

White House spokesman Jay Carney says that President Obama’s Moscow visit is not yet certain due to strained US-Russia ties over Snowden case.

The White House said on Aug. 5 it would decide “in coming days” whether President Barack Obama would go ahead with a summit in Moscow in early September.

The U.S. has said it is reviewing whether Obama will meet President Vladimir Putin in Moscow after Russia last week gave asylum to Edward Snowden, who is wanted by Washington for leaking details of U.S. surveillance programs. “While we have a wide range of interests with the Russians, we are continuing to evaluate the utility of a summit,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “I think it’s fair to say that you can expect we’ll have a decision to announce in coming days,” he said. “We obviously disagree with the Russians very strongly about the decision they’ve made on Mr. Snowden,” Carney said.

Carney said that the U.S. also took issue with Russia on other issues, pointing to its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his campaign against rebels. “We’ve made those disagreements plain, both publicly and privately, in our discussions with the Russians,” Carney said.

On whether to hold a summit in Moscow, “we are evaluating that against not just our disagreement over Mr. Snowden but some of the other issues where we have failed to see, thus far, eye to eye,” he said.

Obama had agreed to meet Putin ahead of a September summit of the G20 major economic powers in Saint Petersburg.