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Obama says US pausing to reassess relations with Russia

 
 
 
 
 
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US President Barack Obama (R) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

US President Barack Obama says the United States is pausing to reassess relations with Russia, amid what he called ‘backward’ thinking by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow’s adoption of a more anti-US attitude.

Obama said there are a number of other issues of concern such as emerging differences around Syria and around human rights, besides the recent extradition spat over American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

“Frankly, on a whole range of issues where we think we can make some progress, Russia has not moved,” Obama said during a White House press conference. “I’ve encouraged Mr. Putin to think forward rather than backwards on those issues with mixed success.”

The US president canceled on August 7 a scheduled meeting with Putin, which was expected to be an opportunity for the two countries to reset diplomatic ties.

Russia responded to the cancellation by saying that Obama’s decision was linked to Snowden, who has been granted a one-year asylum in Russia.

Moscow added that it only shows that the United States “still isn’t ready to build relations with Russia on equal footing.”

Russia and the US do not see eye to eye on the issue of turmoil in Syria. Washington supports anti-Damascus Takfiri militants seeking to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad, whereas Moscow remains a supporter of Assad.

Tensions between the two countries have been growing since December last year over the US Magnitsky Act, which denies any Russian official, who Washington considers as a human rights violator, entry to the US.

The act is named after Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in custody prior to trial three years ago.

President Putin responded at the time by saying Washington still has not closed Guantanamo prison, where people are held without trial and “walk in chains like in the Middle Ages.”

Moscow has banned US citizens from adopting Russian children after several cases of abuse were reported, including 19 deaths, of adopted Russian children, while in the care of their adoptive American families.

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  • Zharkov

    Putin doesn’t need Obama’s advice because it is Obama who is backward in thinking that America is better off as a communist country.

    Nearly everything suggested by Obama and his collaborators in Congress is to install a communist system where government officials dictate every detail of American life.

    Soviet and East German defectors have warned America that we are headed for a police state, and they see similarities everywhere – government spying, Obama’s informer networks, military involvement in civilian policing, abandonment of the US Constitution, etc.

    Russia has the same situation – sliding back into a police state where justified criticism of state officials has become the crime of “extremism”.

    Poor Snowden. He seems to have leaped from the frying pan into the fire. Both Russia and America have a lot of work to do in order to restore liberty for the people.

  • Zharkov

    Obama is pretending to be irritated by Russia’s humanitarian act toward Snowden. Obama knows the goal is global government so this little pretense is only for domestic consumption.

    The future implication of Snowden’s disclosures for Russia and the world is the extreme danger of Russia’s new database of extremists (and ordinary citizens) merging with the NSA database of citizens, along with those databases of Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, etc., into a world-wide database that gives every nation the capability to track anyone anywhere. At least that is on their agenda. It’s up to the citizens to stop them.

  • Arnie

    Would be nice if he stopped implying that the US somehow represents the American people. To different entities and one is a corporation only.

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