U.S.-Russia Talks

By Christopher J. Castelli / August 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

The White House announced today that "there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September." Instead, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with their Russian counterparts in Washington on Friday "to discuss how we can best make progress moving forward on the full range of issues in our bilateral relationship," according to the statement.

"We value the achievements made with Russia in the President’s first term, including the New START Treaty, and cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea," the statement adds. "However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last 12 months, we have informed the Russian government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda. Russia’s disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship."

President Obama still plans to travel to St. Petersburg on Sept. 5-6 to attend the G20 Summit. "I will be going to that because the G20 summit is the main forum where we talk about the economy, the world economy, with all the top economic powers in the world," Obama told "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno last night. "So it’s not something unique to Russia. They’re hosting it this year, but it’s important for us, as the leading economy in the world, to make sure that we’re there -- in part because creating jobs, improving our economy, building up our manufacturing base, increasing wages -- all those things now depend on how we compete in this global economy. And when you’ve got problems in Europe, or China is slowing down, that has an impact here in the United States."