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Obama Cancels Summit Meeting With Putin

Obama and Putin

President Obama has canceled a planned summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in part due to the fact that Russia has granted asylum to NSA leader Edward Snowden:

WASHINGTON — President Obama has canceled a planned summit with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, senior administration officials said Wednesday, a response to frustration with the Russian government for refusing to send Edward J. Snowden to the United States to face charges of leaking national security secrets.

The move is also a reflection of growing tensions between the two countries on a series of other issues, including Mr. Putin’s continuing support of Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria.

Given how his last meeting with Putin went, it’s unclear that anything would’ve been accomplished anyway.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. edmondo says:

    Wasn’t Candidate Obama the one who was willing to “meet anyone, anywhere” to work on topics of mutual interest?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

  2. legion says:

    I really thought Obama would roll over and let this be fought out by the activists on each side, but that bit with Leno really seemed to take a stand on the issue. The IOC really has to start saying something out loud, or I predict there may not be a 2016 Olympics, simply because after the tragedy/shitshow 2014’s gonna be, the entire organization will disintegrate. It’s just too totally populated by corrupt asshats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. legion says:

    @edmondo: Putin’s “interest” is clearly in letting bigoted thugs murder gays without worry. I’m rather glad Obama doesn’t share it. He’s actually taking a stand on a moral issue, and if you’re gonna play it for cheap points, you can go sit in a corner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  4. edmondo says:

    @legion:

    Obama cares more about Edwin Snowden than any gay dudes, Smoke and mirrors, my friend, — That’s what this entire administration has been about for five long years,

    Only 1289 days to go until January 20, 2017.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  5. walt moffett says:

    Begun the propaganda wars have. Next, the “evil empire” slip, photos featuring the President and his military aide/football toter, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  6. C. Clavin says:

    “…Smoke and mirrors, my friend, — That’s what this entire administration has been about for five long years…”

    Wonder what OBL thinks about smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors put a hole in his forehead…snap.
    Or what the people with pre-existing conditions that suddenly have insurance think about smoke and mirrors? Accomplishing what Presidents from both sides of the aisle have tried and failed to do for over 50 years is smoke and mirrors?
    Maybe you don’t really understand the meaning of that metaphor???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. Franklin says:

    @edmondo: So he’s never met with Putin before? Oh, right, he has.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  8. Gavrilo says:

    Reset.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Andre Kenji says:

    @legion: Putin’s “interest” is clearly in letting bigoted thugs murder gays without worry. I’m rather glad Obama doesn’t share it.

    Obama is worried about Snowden, not about gays or the prosecution of dissidents. I pointed out in this blog that it would be very difficult to extradite Snowden – in fact, extraditing non-violent offenders is a REALLY complicated thing to do. Just ask Ronald Biggs.

    Obama is dangerously naive if he thinks that he can force other countries to extradite any people to the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Ben Wolf says:

    @Franklin: That makes Edmondo’s point: Obama met with Putin until Edward Snowden entered the equation. I suspect the President is taking this whole thing rather personally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Obama’s doing what he had to do. And Putin doesn’t care because either way it goes it helps Putin play the führer role. Russia’s weak democracy is dying like Egypt’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. edmondo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Russia’s weak democracy is dying like Egypt’s.

    I’m more concerned about America’s dying democracy.

    But to further the point that Obama is just flabbergasted that anyone could refuse him on the Snoden affair:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/08/obama-starting-to-lose-it-over-snowden.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  13. legion says:

    It still doesn’t pass the smell test for me. Yes, I’m sure he considers the Snowden thing a personal affront, but ditching this meeting while making a public statement about LGBT treatment just doesn’t seem… related enough to be wagging the dog. I admit, it’s purely my own gut reaction – I couldn’t point to any real supporting evidence – but I think if Obama wanted to be pissy about Snowden he’d say or do something less… oblique?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Andre Kenji says:

    Putin might be authoritarian, but he could not face the inevitable backlash had he deported Snowden.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t see why this is complicated. Putin stuck a finger in our eye with the Snowden thing, he’s been having tons of fun over it. We had to respond or look like pussies. But the LGBT thing is genuine and a real problem so Obama moved that to the top of the pile so we could pretend not to be pissed over Snowden. Make the Russians defend their contemptible policies.

    By the way, the IOC should cancel the Olympics in Russia. Russia refuses to guarantee the rights or freedom of athletes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  16. edmondo says:

    @michael reynolds:


    the IOC should cancel the Olympics in Russia.

    Why don’t we just boycott them instead? Then the Obama-as-Carter meme can go exponential.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  17. michael reynolds says:

    @edmondo:

    Right. Now, if only Obama would let 241 Marines be slaughtered while denying them ammo and then turn tail and run, only to sell weapons to the terrorist nation most likely involved in that mass-murder so he could finance right-wing death squads. Why, then he could improve on the Obama as Reagan meme.

    Right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  18. edmondo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Can’t say that I have a direct link to selling arms to terrorists but how about if the US Government hires al qaeda and Taliban operatives as subcontractors? Is that close enough?

    http://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2013-07-30qr.pdf

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @edmondo:

    Hmmm, that would be closer to an Obama-as-Patton meme. Or maybe we could go with an Obama-as-GHW Bush, although there’s buying off ex-Taliban and then there’s giving Saddam a license to hunt marsh Arabs from helicopters.

    Either way, I kind of think your limp effort to attack Obama is running into heavy weather.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. Tillman says:

    I wonder if this is what that luncheon with Hillary Clinton was about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. edmondo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Gee, for a guy who was going to bring “change” he seems a lot like his predecessors (by the way, did you notice all your examples were Republicans? Obama as a Republican seems quite fitting in both the short and long term.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  22. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Putin stuck a finger in our eye with the Snowden thing,

    No, countries refuses to extradite non-violent offenders all the time. That´s a thing of life. I have my doubts that even Angela Merkel or David Cameron would extradite Snowden. Britain has an extremely generous extradition treaty with the United States, and both countries refuses to extradite a lot of people. In fact, three cases involving Brits that the US requested extradition( Christopher Tappin, Gary McKinnon and Richard O’Dwyer) became cause célebre in the UK.

    Imagining that any country will extradite anyone that the US wants is naive and dangerous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. bill says:

    @legion: did you notice that obama had another geographical faux pas? put those east coast ports along the gulf of mexico……maybe they were near the 57th state?! leno’s chat was more aggressive than the nyt’s “interview” anyway, although it was all scripted fluff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  24. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: putin loves thumbing obama, it’s not even fun for him anymore. not that the Olympics is about gay love or anything but that was a pretty lame diversion tactic, and of course the crowd gobbled it up. and they missed the geography thing totally.

    @Tillman: to be a fly on that wall…..

    @Andre Kenji: correct, in much of the world a leader has to have a spine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @edmondo:

    I agree. In foreign policy he’s quite Republican.

    So glad to see you agree with me and have now abandoned your untenable Obama-as-Carter thing. Obama-as-Reagan/Bush is much more accurate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Putin is hardly bound by law or precedent. One of the downsides of being a fascist is that you can’t claim to be following the law without earning laughter. Had Putin wanted Snowden out of the country he’d have found a way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  27. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Had Putin wanted Snowden out of the country he’d have found a way.

    No, he couldn´t. His *own party* was claiming that Snowden should be nominated for the Nobel Prize.Putin might be authoritarian, but he can face a backlash from his own supporters. Worse, since everyone can argue that Bradley Manning´s treatment is akin to torture, every country now has a convenient excuse to refuse to extradite people to the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. JD says:

    What about Russia’s support of Iran’s bomb and military program? What about Russia’s support for Syria?
    Obama scrapped our missile defense program, just to make the clown happy. He even pledged on an open microphone to Putin’s sidekick that he would surrender more when he was re-elected.

    Now he is pissed at Putin??? What a joke and moron our mysterious president is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    He could have refused to let him in the country to begin with and cited Russian law. Or he could have put Snowden on a flight to sanctuary in Venezuela only to be shocked and outraged when the flight was diverted en route by US allies.

    Instead Putin thought he’d have some fun at our expense. And now we’ve shrugged him off, signaling the world just how irrelevant Russia is except as gas-supplier to Europe. Obama blew him off because Russia is not China. It’s just a big, cold Saudi Arabia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  30. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He could have refused to let him in the country to begin with and cited Russian law. Or he could have put Snowden on a flight to sanctuary in Venezuela only to be shocked and outraged when the flight was diverted en route by US allies.

    If ANYTHING happened to Snowden while he was under Putin´s watch, Putin would appear as weak. He would probably see his own supporters demonstrating against him, and Putin did not build his hold on power by appearing as weak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0