(NEWSER) – President Obama is still going to Russia this fall to attend a G20 summit, but the White House is now suggesting that he'll back out of a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. All the coverage says it's Obama's way of making clear he's not happy about US-Russia relations at the moment, mostly because of Edward Snowden, but also over things like the sentencing of a top Putin critic to 5 years in prison, and Moscow's support of Syria, reports New York. This is Obama's way of trying to gain some leverage, according to the common refrain in stories:
- "Canceling the meeting in Moscow would be seen as a direct slap at Mr. Putin, who is known to value such high-level visits as a validation of Russian prestige," says theNew York Times.
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