President Barack Obama may cancel a planned trip to Moscow in September to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin as tensions rise between the two countries over fugitive security contractor Edward Snowden, the New York Times reported Thursday.
The White House has not publicly denied that the president would be keeping the Moscow meeting, which is a stop on his trip to St. Petersburg for the G-20 summit, on his agenda. When a reporter asked Wednesday if Obama would still be traveling to Moscow before the G-20 gathering, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded “I can say that the president intends to travel to Russia for the G-20 summit,” according to the Times.
From the Times report:
Angela E. Stent, a former national intelligence officer on Russia now at Georgetown University, said Obama administration officials are questioning the Moscow meeting because they “are not clear what will actually be signed” even if Mr. Snowden’s case is resolved by then. “There seem to be significant gaps between Russia and U.S. sides on these important issues such as Syria, missile defense and arms control,” she said.
The White House was also mum Wednesday on a potential Olympic boycott should Russia offer Snowden asylum.