Obama Cancels Talks with Putin over Snowden Controversy

by Sterling Beard

President Obama has canceled a scheduled September summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin because of tensions over their protection of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

President Obama will still attend the G20 summit in St. Petersburg in early September, but the president has decided against having the additional bi-lateral talks that he and Putin had been planning to hold.

On August 1, Russia granted Snowden one-year asylum and allowed him to leave the Moscow airport where he’d been staying. The move infuriated the United States, which had been urging Russia to return the man who had leaked details of NSA intelligence programs.

Other contact is still ongoing – Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet Friday with their Russian counterparts, but the move is the latest turn in the frosty relationship between the United States and Russia.