New low in US-Russia ties after Obama cancels Moscow summit

Obama's reset hasn't prevented Putin from railing against the United States.
Alexei Nikolsky

The father of Edward Snowden, the ex-government contractor and leaker of National Security Agency information, said he is confident Russian President Vladimir Putin will not “cave” to US pressure after President Barack Obama canceled a planned meeting with him next month in Moscow.

“These games of ‘Well, I’m not going to go to this meeting,’ or ‘I’m not going to go to that meeting,’ … I do not believe that Putin will cave to that,” Lon Snowden said in an interview with Reuters.

Meanwhile, Obama's snub is being called a new low in US-Russia relations. Moscow has called the move "disappointing."

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"There is every sign that Washington and Moscow are moving to a serious chill in relations," Lilya Shevtsova, a Carnegie Moscow Center analyst, told Agence France-Presse. "There are too many questions on which Russia and the United States cannot achieve even the slightest rapprochement."

The chill, prompted by Moscow's decision to ignore calls by the United States to extradite Snowden and instead offer him asylum, is one of many points of disagreement between the two former Cold War rivals.

"The Snowden issue is just a pretext for canceling the visit," a Kremlin source was quoted saying in Russia's Kommersant daily.

The two sides remain at odds over a solution in Syria, Moscow's recent ban on US families from adopting Russian children, and Russia's recent clampdown on dissidents, NGOs and the LGBT community.

Nevertheless, the White House has confirmed Obama still plans to attend the G20 summit in St. Petersburg this September, but he will not meet one-on-one with Putin.