Support from both parties for decision to cancel summit
Photo: Image by Pete Souza, June 2013, MGN Online
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers from both parties are voicing support for President Barack Obama's decision to cancel an upcoming Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The move sent a stern message of disapproval over Russia's harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says Putin has been "acting like a school-yard bully." He says the Russian leader "doesn't deserve the respect a bilateral summit would have accorded him."
And Republican congressman Ed Royce of California says the move "should help make clear" that it was "unacceptable" for Russia to give temporary asylum to Snowden.
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says it was the "unanimous view" of Obama and his national security team that a summit wouldn't make sense in the current environment, which Rhodes described as a troubled relationship. He says the Snowden decision served only to worsen tensions, and that the U.S. saw few signs that progress could be made at a summit on other agenda items.
Russia's government is voicing disappointment, saying the decision shows that the U.S. isn't able to develop relations with Russia on an "equal basis." A foreign affairs adviser says Russia remains ready to work together with the U.S. "on all key issues."