Washington, D.C. - Aggravated with a number of issues in U.S.-Russian relations, the White House today announced that President Obama will not hold a one-on-one summit meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin next month, with the recent Russian decision to grant temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden playing a role in that decision.
"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," read a written statement issued by the White House.
The move was not a complete surprise, as the White House has been openly holding out the threat for weeks, spurred mainly by Snowden's stay in the international arrivals zone of the Moscow airport.
Here is the statement issued this morning by the White House:
Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Russia
Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September. We value the achievements made with Russia in the President’s first term, including the New START Treaty, and cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea. However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, 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. 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. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States, so on Friday, August 9, Secretaries Hagel and Kerry will meet with their Russian counterparts in a 2+2 format in Washington to discuss how we can best make progress moving forward on the full range of issues in our bilateral relationship.
The President still looks forward to traveling to St. Petersburg on September 5-6 to attend the G-20 Summit.