Russian authorities were ready for Barack Obama’s decision to cancel the meeting with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president’s top aide has said.
“We were ready both for the visit and to its possible cancelation considering the background that has appeared around Edward Snowden,” Yury Ushakov told reporters on Friday. “We have perceived the news calmly.”
"Concerning Putin and Obama's meeting at the G20 summit, it was not planned. It was neither discussed, nor planned. We assumed earlier that a full-format visit would take place," he said.
Ushakov also reminded that the Snowden saga was not the first story in which special services’ work led to a cooling of relations between Russia and the USA.
“Sooner or later the contacts must be continued. If we react to every such occasion our relations would end in a standstill,” Putin’s aide noted.
Ushakov also said that Moscow had already informed Washington about its disappointment over the canceled summit.
“However, the invitation to the US president remains in force, we hope that the US side will sooner or later return to this issue as the bilateral dialogue is important, not only for our countries, but also for the stability and security in the whole world,” Ushakov told the press.
According to the official, Russia is ready to work on the main questions of the bilateral agenda and the forthcoming “two plus two” meeting of defense and foreign ministers is further proof of such readiness.
Obama announced this week that he was canceling his scheduled visit to Moscow and personal meeting with Vladimir Putin. He said the move was caused by severe disagreements in a number of issues, including missile defense, Middle East, Russia’s stance on LGBT rights and the decision to grant temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
Russian diplomats and top officials immediately expressed disappointment over the decision, but added that the Snowden situation was hardly Russia’s fault and that the US itself had avoided an extradition treaty with Russia for many years.