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Obama cancels meeting with Russia's Putin over Snowden case

Obama cancels meeting with Russia's Putin over Snowden case
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President Obama has cancelled a scheduled meeting with Vladimir Putin next month following Moscow’s decision to grant temporary asylum to former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

But he will go to Russia for the G20 summit in St Petersburg.

This Friday’s bilateral talks in Washington between high-level American and Russian officials will also go ahead.

The White House cited a “lack of progress” between Russia and the United States on a host of other issues “such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society”.

“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,” the statements said.

Earlier, appearing on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday, Obama criticised what he called Russia’s “Cold War mentality”.

“I was disappointed because even though we don’t have an extradition treaty with them, traditionally we have tried to respect if there’s a law-breaker or an alleged law-breaker in their country, we evaluate it and we try to work with them. They didn’t do that with us. And in some ways it’s reflective of some underlying challenges that we’ve had with Russia lately,” he told host Jay Leno.

Obama didn’t mention the planned meeting with Putin on the show, but Washington has since confirmed its cancellation.

Snowden faces criminal charges in the US including espionage for disclosing details of secret surveillance programmes.

His lawyer now says his client has registered a Russian address.

The whereabouts of the former spy agency contractor are still not known since he slipped away from Moscow airport.