Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said President Obama should cancel a bilateral summit Russian President Vladmir Putin scheduled for later this month and push to move the international economic G20 Summit out of St. Petersburg because Putin granted asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Schumer said that the relationship between the U.S. and Russia “is more poisonous than at any time since the Cold War because of all of this,” and said if President Obama meets with Putin, it’s giving him “the kind of respect he doesn’t deserve at this time.”
The New York Democrat also said the U.S. should pressure its allies to move the international economic G20 Summit out of St. Petersburg.
“For once…I agree with Chuck Schumer on that,” Ryan said, following "Schumer on Face the Nation." “I think President Putin thinks he can get away with pushing around this administration because the administration has given appeasement feelings that they can do this.”
“[Snowden’s asylum] is a stab in the back and a slap in the face,” Ryan continued. “I actually agree with Sen. Schumer – that has to come with some consequences, and I think the administration should proceed just like we now discussed.”
Last week, Putin granted asylum to Snowden, the man who leaked information on top-secret government surveillance programs. Snowden had previously been hiding out in Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow while he awaited asylum decisions from Russia or a number of other countries.
“He’s always going out of his way, President Putin is, to poke us in the eye, whether it’s in Iran, in Syria and now with Snowden,” Schumer said.
The U.S. wants Snowden back to face trial for a litany of crimes.
Schumer on Sunday said Putin is trying to assert his country’s influence through bullying tactics because his policies have Russia on the decline.
“I think that President Putin feels the loss of Russian power, particularly since the end of the Cold War, keenly, being an old KGB officer and he’s trying to build it back up,” Schumer said. “The trouble is the way he’s trying to build it back up is not by strengthening the economy or making Russia a more free and robust place - he persecutes all of his political opponents - but rather by stepping on our back.”