Russia ‘Disappointed’ by US Snub

World | August 8, 2013, Thursday // 08:51|  views

Russian president Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with US president Barack Obama (R) at the International Convention Center in the city of Los Cabos, Mexican state of Baja California, at the G20 Summit, 18 June 2012. EPA/BGNES

The Kremlin says it is "disappointed" the US cancelled bilateral talks in September, after Russia granted asylum to intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

Russian foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said on Wednesday Russia was not to blame over the Snowden affair.

"This decision is clearly linked to the situation with former agent of US special services [Edward] Snowden, which hasn't been created by us," he said during a phone conference with the press.

For many years, the Americans have avoided signing an extradition agreement," Ushakov said, "And they have invariably responded negatively to our requests for extradition of people who committed crimes on the territory of Russia, pointing at the absence of such agreement."

But he added the invitation for the bilateral summit was still open.

"Russian representatives are ready to continue working together with American partners on all key issues on the bilateral and multilateral agenda," Ushakov said.

A day earlier US President Barack Obama confirmed his intention to attend the Group of Twenty summit in Russia’s St. Petersburg in September, but reproached Russia for its “Cold War mentality.”

“There are times when they [the Russian government] slip back into Cold War thinking and Cold War mentality. What I continually say to them and to President [Vladimir] Putin, that’s the past,” the US president said during “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, according to RIA Novosti.

"There’s no reason why we shouldn't be able to cooperate more effectively than we do,” he said.

Obama said he was “disappointed” with Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden but that he would still attend the G20 summit.

Obama also criticized Russia’s notorious legislative measures recently adopted to  punish gay "propaganda.”

"Whether you are discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country," Obama said on Tuesday when asked about the Russian LGBT hate bill.

The meeting in Moscow is scheduled to take place early next month, ahead of the G20 summit of top world leaders that begins September 5 in St. Petersburg.

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Tags: Barack Obama, Russia, G20, Edward Snowden, LGBT


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