Obama cancels meeting with Putin over Snowden asylum

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Both Republicans and Democrats praised Obama for snubbing Putin and opting not to travel to Moscow for the bilateral summit ahead of the September G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, which he was still attending.

Obama has been facing pressure from Congress to respond to Putin after Moscow granted National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum last week. Some pressed him to go even further, such as the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who urged Obama to try to move the G-20 out of Russia.

“The president clearly made the right decision,” Schumer said in a statement Wednesday. “President Putin is acting like a school-yard bully and doesn’t deserve the respect a bilateral summit would have accorded him.”

“This should help make clear that the Russian government’s giving Edward Snowden ‘refugee’ status is unacceptable," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). "Snowden should be sent to the U.S. to defend his actions in a U.S. court of law.”

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