President Obama’s scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in September is in limbo because of uncertainty surrounding National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who fled to Russia and is seeking asylum there.
In addition to the Snowden case, relations between the United States and Russia have become strained in recent weeks over the ongoing conflict in Syria, disputes over nuclear weapons and concerns about the Putin government’s treatment of dissidents.
The White House announced in June that Obama would meet with Putin in Moscow around the time of the annual Group of 20 nations summit, which Russia is hosting Sept. 5-6 in St. Petersburg.
White House press secretary Jay Carney declined repeatedly this week to say whether Obama still plans to visit Moscow.
“The president intends to travel to Russia for the G-20 summit,” Carney told reporters on Wednesday. “And I have no further announcements to make beyond what we’ve said in the past about the president’s travel to Russia in the fall.”