Obama Cancels Summit With Putin
US President Barack Obama has canceled plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for a one-on-one summit next month, the White House said Wednesday, amid US fury over Moscow's decision to grant asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, according to RIA Novosti.
"It was the unanimous view of the president and his national security team that a summit did not make sense in the current environment," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was quoted as saying by The Associated Press and other US media outlets.
The White House said a formal statement announcing the decision to cancel the summit would be issued shortly.
Obama's decision to cancel the meeting with Putin came after Russia decided to give temporary asylum to Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who leaked details to media on US telephone and electronic surveillance programs that have triggered controversy in the United States and around the world.
Putin had said he did not want the Snowden affair to damage Russia's relations with the United States. US lawmakers and officials, however, have described Moscow's decision to protect Snowden as a "slap in the face" to the United States and urged Obama to reconsider his approach to building ties with Moscow.