Friday, July 19, 2013

Snowden issue likely to eclipse Obama’s proposed visit to Moscow

Washington: 19 Jul 2013

US President Barack Obama may cancel his scheduled visit to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, as tension builds up between the two countries over fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, media reports have said.

While there was no official word from the White House, expect that Press Secretary, Jay Carney, avoided questions on this issue, media reports on Thursday said that US government is thinking over cancelling the Obama-Putin meeting, when the US President travels to Russia to attend the G-20 Summit in St Petersburg.

The Obama Administration is asking Russia to send Snowden back to United States where he is wanted on espionage charges for leaking classified information.

\"In addition to the Snowden case, relations between United States and Russia have become strained in recent weeks over the ongoing conflict in Syria, disputes over nuclear weapons and concerns about the Putin government\'s treatment of dissidents,\" a US daily reported.

Carney on Wednesday refrained from answering questions on Obama-Putin meeting in Moscow in September.

\"The president intends to travel to Russia for the G-20 summit. And I have no further announcements to make beyond what we\'ve said in the past about the president\'s travel to Russia in the fall,\" he had said in response to a question.

This would be for the second time that Obama-Putin meeting may be cancelled. Last year, when Obama hosted the Group of 8 Summit at Camp David, Putin did not come saying he was too busy in Moscow finalising his new cabinet.
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