White House Nixes Planned Putin Meeting

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President Obama has dropped plans to meet bilaterally with Russian President Vladimir Putin just prior to a September gathering of leaders from the Group of 20 nations, the White House said on Wednesday.

"Given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control ... we have informed the Russian government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda," spokesman Jay Carney said in released remarks.

"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," he said.

Speaking on Tuesday to NBC's "The Tonight Show," Obama said Moscow's decision to harbor the former U.S. intelligence analyst was indicative of "underlying challenges" in Washington's relationship with the Russians, the Associated Press reported.

"There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality," he said.

Putin's counselor for foreign issues, Yuri Ushakov, said Moscow is "disappointed" by the U.S. move but remains "ready to further work with American partners on key bilateral and international issues,” ITAR-Tass reported.

Obama is still anticipated to travel to Russia to participate in the G20 economic gathering in St. Petersburg.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry also would still hold talks with their Russian equivalents in Washington on Friday, Carney said. Syria and the New START arms control treaty are among issues to be addressed in the exchange, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in comments reported on Tuesday by Agence France-Presse.

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