President Obama was "absolutely right" to cancel a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin, Condoleezza Rice said Friday.
Rice, a former secretary of State and national security adviser under former President George W. Bush, called the Russian president's decision to grant asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden “a slap in the face.”
Members from both sides of the aisle have supported the president’s decision, although some have said Obama should go even farther. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have said Obama should push U.S. allies to have the G-20 Summit moved out of St. Petersburg.
Rice on Friday detailed the sorry state of relations between the two countries but said today’s tensions didn’t rise to the level of the Cold War, calling Russia a “diminished power.”
“The relationship today is terrible, just to be very blunt about it, but it’s not the Cold War,” she said.
“You have to start with the fact that we have very few overlapping interests any longer with Russia, with this Russia,” she added. “I don’t think that you sacrifice very much by saying to Putin and Russia: 'Look, we are not going to sacrifice our interests to court you.'”
Rice cited Russian support of the Syrian government in the face of a civil war as evidence the two countries have few common political goals.