Kremlin 'disappointed' by Obama's cancellation of Moscow visit

Russia is "disappointed" by US President Barack Obama's decision to cancel a planned visit to Moscow in early September for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AP
Russia is "disappointed" by US President Barack Obama's decision to cancel a planned visit to Moscow in early September for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia is "disappointed" by US President Barack Obama's decision to cancel a planned visit to Moscow in early September for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

"We are disappointed," Mr Putin's top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told reporters, adding it was clear to Moscow that the decision was linked to the fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden who was granted asylum in Russia last week.

"It is clear that the decision is linked to the situation over the employee of the American special services Snowden which was absolutely not created by us," he said.

Mr Ushakov said the situation showed that the United States was still not ready for relations "on an equal basis" with Russia but said the invitation for Mr Obama to visit still stood.

"This problem emphasises that the United States, as before, is not ready to build relations on an equal basis," said Mr Ushakov, accusing the United States of thwarting the signing of a bilateral extradition agreement.

"We are ready to work further with the American partners on all key questions on the bilateral and multilateral agenda," he added.

Mr Obama is still set to visit Russia for the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg but he had been scheduled to hold a meeting with Mr Putin in Moscow ahead of that event.