Obama Cancels Face-to-Face Meeting With Putin

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 7 2013 9:50 AM

President Obama Cancels Face-to-Face Meeting With Vladimir Putin

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President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks on home ownership for the middle class at Desert Vista High School on August 6, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama has officially scrapped plans to meet face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin during next month's G-20 economic summit in Russia, the Associated Press reports this morning:

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Russia's decision last week to defy the U.S. and grant Snowden temporary asylum only exacerbated an already troubled relationship. And with few signs that progress would be made during the Moscow summit on other agenda items, Rhodes said the president decided to cancel the talks.
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Obama will still head to the St. Petersburg summit, but instead of spending a little quality time on the sidelines with the Russian strongman, Obama will use that time to visit Sweden, according to the White House.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.