Fallout between US and Russia overshadows start of G20

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Fallout between US and Russia overshadows start of G20

Fallout between US and Russia overshadows start of G20
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The breakdown in relations between the United States and Russia looks set to cloud this year’s G20 summit in St Petersburg, where world leaders are meeting to discuss the state of the global economy and financial reform.

Barack Obama and Vladmir Putin last met at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June.

The leaders of the two countries have bickered over a number of key policy areas in recent months as Euronews correspondent James Franey explains.

“Ties between the US and Russia are at a post-Cold War low after a series of rows over the Edward Snowden case, human rights, trade and how to tackle the Syrian crisis. The relationship between US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has soured to such an extent that officials say there are no plans for the two men to hold direct one-to-one talks over the next two days.”

Obama and Putin had been set to meet in Moscow yesterday.

But the US president cancelled his trip last month, choosing instead to meet with Swedish Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt in Stockholm.

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The White House said at the time that that there was “not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia” to hold the meeting – a barely veiled reference to the countries’ disagreements over Syria and the Snowden asylum case.

David Shorr, an expert on US foreign policy at the Stanley Foundation think tank, told euronews that Snowden had placed a strain on diplomatic relations between Washington and Moscow:

“Most dramatically it was probably the Snowden affair. Given that the US in a reciprocal situation has extradited suspects to Russia, that was really seen as quite an affront, I guess,” Shorr said.

Other issues that feature on the G20 summit’s formal agenda include the state of the global economy; tax evasion; regulating the shadow banking sector; trade and development.