Obama cancels meetings with Putin amid tensions over Snowden
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Barack Obama is cancelling a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for next month in Moscow, the White House said on Wednesday.
The Obama administration has repeatedly expressed disappointment after Moscow granted temporary asylum to former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, rejecting US pleas to hand him over to face criminal charges including espionage.
The White House, in a statement, said it valued "achievements made" between Russia and the United States, but cited a "lack of progress" on a host of other issues "such as missile defence and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society."
"Russia's disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship," the statements said.