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Obama may cancel Moscow trip as tensions build over leaker

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama may cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin in September as the standoff over the fate of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor seeking asylum there, takes its toll on already strained relations between the United States and Russia, officials said Thursday.

Canceling the meeting in Moscow would be seen as a direct slap at Putin, who is known to value such high-level visits as a validation of Russian prestige.

While the White House may be using the meeting as leverage to win cooperation as it seeks the return to the United States of Snowden, who is now staying at a Moscow airport, the reconsideration also reflects a broader concern that the two countries are far apart on issues such as Syria, Iran, arms control and missile defense.

Obama may cancel Moscow trip as tensions build over leaker 07/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:15pm]
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