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240 words - August 8, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On August 7, a statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced that there was "not enough recent progress in (US) bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a US-Russia Summit in early September." The "unanimous" decision within the National Security Council (NSC) came after months of deterioration in the two countries' relations mostly due to profound disagreements regarding human rights, missile defense and the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The recent temporary asylum given to former US intelligence contractor – and leaker of classified information on National Security Agency (NSA) clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program PRISM – Edward Snowden by Russian authorities clearly didn't help matters. "Russia's disappointing decision to grant Mr. Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship," Mr. Carney explained.
Yet everything is not negative, President Barack Obama told NBC's Jay Leno, "they (Russia) still help us on supplying our troops in Afghanistan; they're still helping us on counterterrorism work; they were helpful after the Boston bombing in that investigation." Unfortunately, "there have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality," President Obama added, nevertheless he will be traveling to St. Petersburg on September 5-6 to attend the G-20 Summit.
The office of President Vladimir Putin conveyed Russian's authorities' "disappointment" but didn't elaborate further.
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