President Obama’s decision to forgo a bilateral summit meeting with Russian President/strongman Vladimir Putin has drawn high praise from, get this, Republicans as well as Democrats.
Obama is going to Moscow to attend a meeting of the G-20 nations. He’d been scheduled to meet privately with Putin prior to the economic summit. Then something happened. Putin decided to grant temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who’s been on the lam as U.S. authorities have implored to answer for leaking national security secrets to the rest of the world.
Obama’s decision was the right one as it sticks it in the eye of Putin, who has shown little interest in cooperating with his so-called American “partners” in trying to resolve the Snowden matter.
In truth, Obama has few options to persuade the Russians to hand Snowden over to U.S. authorities. The United States has no extradition treaty with Russia, so the Russians are free to act as they see fit. That doesn’t mean the American president has to take it lying down.
Barack Obama’s canceling of the bilateral summit has embarrassed Putin on the world stage.
To which many of us would say: Putin had it coming.
As the link attached to this blog notes, U.S.-Russia relations are heading for the deep freeze, which of course is nothing new.